Ongoing Research at Trout Lake
There are many reseach projects at Trout Lake from Long Term Ecological to student summer projects. A few of them are highlighted in the Research Overview . Other projects include:
North Temperate Lakes Long-Term Ecological Research
Crystal Lake Mixing Project
Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network (GLEON)
USGS Water Energy Biogeochemical Budget
Along with the long term projects we have undergrads, grad students, post doc and visitng faculty conducting research at the station. These include but are not limited to:
Ben Beardmore: My PhD research has led me into recreational fisheries, where I'm part of the ADAPTFISH research project, headed by Dr. Robert Arlinghaus. This project takes a Social Ecological Systems approach to understand recreational fisheries dynamics.
At the CFL, I'm currently modeling boater movement in the context of aquatic invasive species dispersal (CNHS), and developing protocols for longitudinal surveys of shoreline property owners and lake users in two lake districts in Wisconsin (LTER).
Ben Crary: My research investigates the potential for phytoplankton populations to structure bacterial community composition.
John Crawford: I am currently studying the role of streams in the carbon balance of small watersheds. I am working with the U.S.Geological Survey Water, Energy, and Biogeochemical Budgets Program (WEBB) and LTER to examine the magnitude and control of carbon gas emissions from a number of small streams across the U.S. including streams surrounding trout Lake. I am investigating the sources of stream gas using a variety of approaches including isotopc signatures of carbon and mass balance estimations.
Dr. John Havel: I am a professor in the Biology Department at Missouri State University. My research is in the population and community ecology, with particular interests in the factors that affect spread and impacts of exotic species. At Trout Lake Station, I am collaborating with Susan Knight on two DNR-funded projects: tolerace of aquatic plants and snails to drying and a field test on the effectiveness of milfoil weevil for controlling Eurasian water-milfoil.
Susan Knight: I am working with John Havel (Missouri State University) on two research projects involving aquatic invasive species. We are trying to determine how long a number of aquatic invasive species can survive out of the water and also trying to determine the effectiveness of the milfoil weevil at controlling Eurasian water-milfoil. I also conduct aquatic plant identification workshops and participate in outreach activites.
Alexander Latzka: I am a PhD student in Jake Vander Zanden's lab in the Center for Limnology. I primarily study landscape-scale patterns in the biological invasion of inland lakes. My specific activities include: 1) estimating the number of invaded lakes in Wisconsin, and how probability of invasion varies among lake types, 2) assessing lake vulnerability (a function of the number and abundance of species present) to invasion, 3) understanding how invasive snails and crayfish are affected by low calcium and low pH water conditions, 4) linking boater movements to the spread of invasive spcies, and 5) understanding long-term trends in invasive species abundance.
Zach Lawson, Jordan Read & Colin Smith: Crystal Lake Mixing Project : Rainbow smelt are an invasive fish species that was first
detected in the Laurentian Great Lakes in the 1920’s and have since spread to
numerous inland lakes. As of 2005, rainbow smelt have invaded 24 inland
Wisconsin lakes and have the potential to spread to many more. In Wisconsin’s
Northern Highland Lake District, rainbow smelt have been associated with
several negative impacts on lake food webs.
For instance, rainbow smelt have been associated with shifts in
zooplankton community structure, reductions in yellow perch densities,
extirpation of ciscoes, and walleye recruitment failure.
We are performing a whole-lake thermal manipulation to
eradicate rainbow smelt in Crystal Lake, Vilas County. Adult rainbow smelt require cooler waters
than most native fishes and, as a result, occupy the deeper, colder parts of
the lake. By experimentally mixing
Crystal Lake throughout the summer via common bubblers and experimental gradual
entrainment lake inverters (GELIs), we will warm deeper areas of the lake and
eliminate the cold-water habitat required by adult rainbow smelt. As a result of the manipulation, we expect
adult rainbow smelt to be thermally stressed to the point of starvation,
causing mortality. However, we do not
expect the manipulation to have significant negative impacts on native yellow
perch or walleye in Crystal Lake due to their warmer water temperature
tolerances. If our experiment is successful, this technique has the potential
to be used as a management tool throughout the region to eradicate this
Dr. Noah Lottig: Noah Lottig is a Postdoctoral Research Associate and Site Manager with the North
Temperate Lakes Long Term Ecological Research Program. His primary research
interests focus around ecosystem ecology and biogeochemistry. He is particularly interested in understanding how suites of
embedded aquatic ecosystems influence regional carbon dynamics.
Dr. Tom Rooney: Our research group is conducting a long-term ecological restoration experiment. Specifically, we are removing garlic mustard from a 30 acre patch of forest and monitoring vegetation recovery.
Dr. Carl Watras, WDNR, Research scientist: Limnological Investigations of Mercury and Acid Rain. Biogeochemical studies of acid rain and mercury began at the Trout Lake Station (TLS) in the early 1980s, focusing initially on a whole lake experiment in Little Rock Lake (LRL). LRL is a small (0.2 km2) precipitation-dominated, mesotrophic seepage lake situated in an undisturbed forested watershed about 5 km from TLS. In 1984, the lake was separated into two basins by stretching a flexible barrier across a narrows. One basin was gradually acidified from pH 6.1 to 4.7 by mixing H2SO4 into surface waters over a six-year period. The other basin of the lake served as an untreated reference. In 1991, experimental acidification ceased and the treatment basin was allowed to recover naturally. Biogeochemical changes in the lake were noted at each stage of the acidification and recovery; and these observations served as the basis for more focused studies to elucidate biogeochemical and ecological mechanisms. One notable observation was a marked change in the mercury cycle. During acidification, concentrations of highly toxic methylmercury (meHg) in water, phytoplankton, zooplankton, and fish increased significantly – and then returned to background levels during recovery. These observations fostered several intensive studies of the lacustrine mercury cycle in LRL and surrounding lakes that continue today.