Mentor:Dr. Emily Hartdegen
Abstract:Primary production in aquatic ecosystems is often limited by N and/or P availability. Watershed land-use can alter nutrient availability and affect stream food webs. Nutrient limitation of aquatic habitats in a high-rotational grazing landscape was quantified using nutrient diffusing substrata (NDS). Chlorophyll a concentrations on NDS were used to identify the limiting nutrient(s) at each site. Of the twelve sites tested, four ephemeral and pond habitats were nutrient limited, potentially due to lack of influx from upstream regions. Nutrient limitation is expected to increase during the growing season as demand increases. Ongoing research will assess drivers of such temporal dynamics.