Study Motivation


Summary
The large surface area and extensive coastline of the Laurentian Great Lakes and other large lakes of the world make them ideal testing grounds for operational remote sensing. Our goal is to enhance the understanding of large-scale processes and dynamics associated with physical forcings and fluxes of biogeochemically important materials in the coastal zone by providing information about temporal and spatial variability in biomass and productivity. Given the extensive coastline and diversity of coastal ecosystems, large lakes provide an excellent venue for examining consequences of change, as driven by both natural and anthropogenic stressors. Moreover because of their relative size and bounded nature, lakes may serve as a sentinel of changes occurring on larger scales in more resilient oceanic systems.

Whereas certain ecological responses to climate change have been enumerated, the impact of warmer temperatures on biological productivity, and the effect on trophic dynamics and carbon cycling is not well understood (Lehman 2000; IPCC 1998). At present, a systematic characterization of the spatial development and temporal dynamics in primary production is lacking. This characterization is needed for a baseline from which to compare future patterns. This study is focused on several important aspects of limnology: seasonal and interannual to decadal changes in physical and biogeochemical distributions. We are interested in understanding:


Temporal and Spatial Variability of temperature, sediment concentration, and phytoplankton biomass.
Changing Ecosystem Dynamics associated with the effect
of climate on the lower trophic food web


References
Brown, D.G., Walker, K.V. Davis, M.B., Sugita, S., Lindeberg, J.D, 2000. Impacts, challenges and opportunities: Land ecology. In: Preparing for a Changing Climate Great Lakes: A Summary by the Great Lakes Regional Assessment Group for the U.S. Global Change Research Program. Ed.s. Sousounis, P.J. and J.M. Bisanz, USEPA 116 pp.

Cangelosi, A. 2001. Sustainable use of Great Lakes water: The diversion threat's silver-lining? Northeast-Midwest Institute, Rep, http://www.nemw.org/ERGLwaterdivert.htm.

IPCC. 1998. Summary for Policymakers: The regional impact of climate change-- An assessment of vulnerability: 10. North America, Eds: Shriner, D.S. and Street, R.B. In: The Regional Impact of Climate Change-- An Assessment of Vulnerability, Cambridge University Press, pp 253-331.

Lehman, J.T., A.S. Brooks, J.C. Zastrow, 2000. Impacts, challenges and opportunities: Water resources. In: Preparing for a Changing Climate Great Lakes: A Summary by the Great Lakes Regional Assessment Group for the U.S. Global Change Research Program. Ed.s. Sousounis, P.J. and J.M. Bisanz, USEPA 116 pp.




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