Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2018VT93B

Impact of storms on lake phytoplankton community dynamics

Institute: Vermont
Year Established: 2018 Start Date: 2018-03-01 End Date: 2019-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $38,116 Total Non-Federal Funds: $76,006

Principal Investigators: Jason Stockwell

Abstract: Although climate change is expected to cause more intense and frequent extreme weather events, we only have a basic understanding of how these events might alter freshwater phytoplankton communities. Storms can have strong impacts on thermal stratification and mixing dynamics of lakes, which in turn may influence niche availability and phytoplankton succession, and thus taxonomic and functional diversity of freshwater phytoplankton communities. A working group (“Storm-Blitz”) was organized within the Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network (GLEON) in 2013 to address questions about the impacts of storms on phytoplankton community through sharing of long-term datasets and high-frequency data in lakes across the globe. Recently, members of Storm-Blitz received funding from two sources (Centre de Synth et d’Analyse sur la BiodiversitCESAB) in France and USGS John Wesley Powell Center) to support a dedicated working group (GEISHA, Global Evaluation of the Impacts of Storms on freshwater Habitat and Structure of phytoplankton Assemblages) for six workshops over three years. The goals of GEISHA are to 1) create the time, space, and resources to work as a cohesive unit, 2) gather and standardize long-term datasets, 3) perform meta-analyses to evaluate the sensitivity of aquatic ecosystems to extreme weather events, and 4) provide new frameworks to explore theoretical and applied questions related to phytoplankton species diversity and succession in aquatic ecosystems. In this proposal, we provide details on GEISHA and request 6 months of support for a post-doc position to supplement 11 months of secured funding. The additional funding is critical for ensuring sufficient time for the post-doc to integrate with the GEISHA team and complete products (i.e., publications).