Back to top

SFS Annual Meeting

Poster Details

<< Back to Posters

PATTERNS OF NUTRIENT LIMITATION IN SIXTEEN NORTHEASTERN US LAKES

Increased anthropogenic loading of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) to aquatic systems has resulted in an increase in the frequency and intensity of harmful algal blooms. Despite the prevalence of P limitation in many lakes, there is spatial and temporal variation in limitation patterns, with evidence for both N limitation and co-limitation. In this study, we performed standardized nutrient limitation experiments in 16 lakes across the northeastern United States. After one-week in situ incubations, we measured chlorophyll-a in each of four nutrient treatments (Control, N, P, N&P). Our study lakes show variation in nutrient limitation, with co-limitation occurring in 50% of study lakes. Algal communities in all 16 lakes were dominated by either cyanobacteria or chlorophyta. We used Glass’ delta as a metric for effect size for each type of nutrient limitation, and found that the P effect size was positively correlated to N:P (R2 = 0.30, p = 0.036), suggesting that alleviating P limitation results in the strongest phytoplankton response when lake N concentrations are high relative to P. Given the observed spatial variation, there is a need to increase focus on the factors that determine nutrient limitation type.

Denise Bruesewitz (Primary Presenter/Author), Colby College, dabruese@colby.edu;


Brian Kim (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Colby College, stkim@colby.edu;


Abigail Lewis (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Pomona College, allz2015@mymail.pomona.edu ;


Hailee Edwards (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), State University of New York at New Paltz, edwards_hailee@yahoo.com ;


Heather Wander (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), State University of New York at New Paltz, wanderh1@hawkmail.newpaltz.edu ;


Alex Taylor (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Vermont, alexander.e.taylor@uvm.edu;


Noah Poulin (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Ryerson University, noah.poulin@ryerson.ca;


Sarah Princiotta (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Hancock Biological Station, princiotta.sarah@gmail.com ;


Kiyoko Yokota (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), State University of New York at Oneonta, kiyoko.yokota@oneonta.edu ;


Courtney Wigdahl-Perry (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), State University of New York at Fredonia, Courtney.Wigdahl@fredonia.edu ;


Kevin Rose (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, rosek4@rpi.edu;


David Richardson (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), SUNY New Paltz, Department of Biology, richardsond@newpaltz.edu;