Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2013ME295B

Partnership for Monitoring Maine Lake Temperatures in a changing Climate, Short-term Variability and Long-term Trends.

Institute: Maine
Year Established: 2013 Start Date: 2013-05-15 End Date: 2014-05-14
Total Federal Funds: $6,000 Total Non-Federal Funds: $24,166

Principal Investigators: Daniel Buckley, Scott Williams

Abstract: Maine lake temperatures have been rising along with atmospheric temperatures for at least the past 50 years. The magnitude of these changes over that period of time has been poorly documented and subsequent temperature related impacts upon the ecology of these lakes has not been researched. While researchers worldwide have studied individual lakes relative to such temperature fluctuations and in a number of larger lakes temperature models have been used to predict current and future change, comparatively little has been done in terms of the simultaneous monitoring of lake temperatures over a larger geographic region. Low-cost, reliable, temperature data loggers provide a means monitoring temperatures in multiple lakes thus providing the data for examining the consequences of various lake parameters upon thermal regimes of lakes as they respond to short and long term climate variation. The lead PI has monitored Maine lake temperatures since 2007 in collaboration with local lake associations with the assistance of the Maine Congress of Lakes Associations and the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program. Long term temperature change has the potential to significantly impact aspects of lake ecology such as fish ecology and species distribution, biogeochemical cycling, plant growth and the spread of invasive species. The funding in the current grant request would allow the purchase of 100 data loggers which could then increase the number of lakes in Maine being monitored to between 50 and 60. The acquired data from this project would not only provide information on individual lake thermal response, also on the correlation of thermal responses with different lake characteristics. Ultimately such information can be of use in informing the public about the impact of climate change as well as providing necessary information to governmental agencies and NGOs as they make lake management decisions.