Putting The Lake Back Together
This NSF funded project examines the role of the littoral zone in whole -lake production dynamics in 5 lakes associated with the North Temperate Lakes Long Term Ecological Research site in Northern Wisconsin. In collaboration with Jake Vander Zanden, we are quantifying littoral and pelagic primary and secondary production across a size gradient of lakes. We are also quantifying the role of littoral production in supporting fish in these lakes. Historically, metabolism studies on these lakes have focused on pelagic and terrestrial sources of organic carbon. Our data demonstrate a substantial contribution of littoral primary production to the food webs of most of these lakes. Furthermore we have described consistent patterns in littoral algal productivity associated with light availability and sediment nutrient content.