Link to Michigan State University Homepage Link to Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Homepage
Image: Landscape limnology logo

Quantifying Linkages Among Terrestrial, Aquatic, and Human Landscapes

Image: Landscape Limnology Quantifying Linkages Among Terrestrial, Aquatic, and Human Landscapes.

The aim of research activities within this theme is to explain heterogeneity among freshwater ecosystems as a function of variables from the three landscapes (freshwater, terrestrial, and human). Our research has shown that configurations of these three landscapes explain variation in water chemistry among lakes (Soranno et al. 1999, Webster et al. 2000, Martin and Soranno 2006; Webster et al. 2009); mediate the effects of agricultural land use on reservoir water chemistry and fish abundance (Bremigan et al. 2008); predict the location of naturally fishless lakes (Schilling et al. 2008); and explain among-lake variation in aquatic plant cover in the littoral zone (Cheruvelil and Soranno 2008). Complementing these activities that consider hydrogeomorphic and human drivers as shaping ecosystem attributes, we have documented feedbacks in the opposite direction, with freshwater landscape features acting as attractors (lakes) or repellents (wetlands) of urban development (Walsh et al. 2003).

Our current research builds on that described above by quantifying the effects of human activities such as shoreline development and land use/cover change on variation in lake water chemistry, fish, and turtles. We are also incorporating a more explicit social component into our research by quantifying the economic benefit of lake water clarity.