Chapter 7: Nutrient Dynamics and Biogeochemical Cycling in Oneida Lake
Russell L. Cuhel and Carmen Aguilar
“Change” means that you know what was there before. Time-series are therefore an important, even crucial resource for understanding both ecosystem function (Magnuson 1990) and change within it. For example, marine time series such as the Bermuda Atlantic Time-Series study (Bates 2007), the Hawaiian Ocean Time-Series (Karl and Lucas 1996; Karl et al. 2001) and the CARIACO Oceanographic time-series (Muller-Karger 2002), provide physical, chemical, and biological data to enable a better understanding of interdisciplinary facets of global scale climate influences on ecological processes. Some of the critical aspects of time-series in the ocean have been the connection of increases of CO2 to climate change and ocean acidification and how these time series are needed not only for models but also for better understanding of the oceans (Ducklow et al. 2009).
Freshwater ecosystems are more influenced by their surroundings than oceans and therefore have more rapid and extreme oscillations in response to external drivers. Numerous time series studies have identified both natural and anthropogenic stressor effects on freshwater systems. In large lakes with ocean-scale processes like the Great Lakes, three-dimensional studies that take into account vertical structure are often necessary (Cuhel and Aguilar 2013). Prominent among smaller lake studies are controlled nutrient and perturbation studies in the Canadian Experimental Lakes Area (NAS 2006), analysis of human eutrophication progressions in oligotrophic Lake Tahoe (Goldman 1988), and a collaborative, long-running research program by the Institute of Ecosystem Studies on the Hudson River (Fernald et al. 2007). For 30 years the U.S. National Science Foundation has devoted considerable resources to “Long Term Ecological Research” (LTER) sites (NSF 2011) in a variety of habitats, including freshwater lakes (Magnuson et al. 2006). An overview of long-term monitoring studies in many Wisconsin (Stow et al. 1998) and Vermont lakes (Smeltzer et al. 1989) demonstrates linkages among physical, chemical, meteorological, biological, and other process parameters. The concepts of “trophic cascades” and “regime shifts” (Carpenter et al. 1985, 2011) resulting from biological perturbation are particularly relevant to Oneida Lake following zebra mussel colonization.