Quantifying carbon and nutrient transformations in aquatic ecosystems at regional to continental scales in response to environmental change

Final Report (Required, .pdf format only) : 
Wilfred Wollheim
John Kominoski

Aquatic ecosystems regulate material transfer between terrestrial and coastal systems, and play a significant role in regional to global carbon (C) and nutrient cycles. The functioning of inland waters is being altered by human activities such as land use change, climate change, and hydraulic engineering. In order to predict effects of global environmental change on C and nutrient cycles, researchers need spatially distributed models that integrate sources defined by terrestrial-aquatic linkages (spatial and temporal variability of source quantity and quality), transformations within different types of aquatic ecosystems, and upstream-downstream linkages. The LTER network is ideally suited to inform such models because of data collected from multiple biomes and ecosystem types encompassed within the network.

The goal of this working group is to move towards the development of regional-scale aquatic ecosystem models to quantify the fate of C and nutrients under various anthropogenic forcing scenarios. Major topics for discussion include:

  1. Development of generalized algorithms of terrestrial C and nutrient loading to aquatic ecosystems using observations, GIS, remote sensing, and/or terrestrial biogeochemical models.
  2. Approaches to distinguish terrestrial loading from aquatic process signals necessary to develop and test terrestrial loading predictions.
  3. Application of aquatic process rates measured at intensively studied sites to model aquatic processes throughout regional aquatic networks, including streams, rivers, lakes, reservoirs, and wetlands.
  4. Incorporation of DOM quality into aquatic ecosystem models to help predict reactivity rates associated with respiration (both photo and microbial) of terrestrially derived organic matter, as well as to track the contribution and fate of human-derived DOM and more labile autochthonous DOM.
  5. Identification of additional research needed to scale process understanding to regional aquatic networks. and
  6. Development of predictive models of future C and nutrient processing dynamics in aquatic ecosystems under various global environmental change scenarios (climate, land cover and use, hydraulic engineering).
Session Info

Working Group Session 6

Wed, 09/16/2009 - 1:30pm - 3:30pm

Working Group Session 7

Wed, 09/16/2009 - 4:00pm - 6:00pm
Longs Peak Granite Pass
Working Group Materials
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