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  1. Abstract

    To date, most research on cyanobacterial blooms in freshwater lakes has focused on the pelagic life stage. However, examining the complete cyanobacterial life cycle—including benthic life stages—may be needed to accurately predict future bloom dynamics. The current expectation, derived from the pelagic life stage, is that blooms will continue to increase due to the warmer temperatures and stronger stratification associated with climate change. However, stratification and mixing have contrasting effects on different life stages: while pelagic cyanobacteria benefit from strong stratification and are adversely affected by mixing, benthic stages can benefit from increased mixing. The net effects of these potentially counteracting processes are not yet known, since most aquatic ecosystem models do not incorporate benthic stages and few empirical studies have tracked the complete life cycle over multiple years. Moreover, for many regions, climate models project both stronger stratification and increased storm-induced mixing in the coming decades; the net effects of those physical processes, even on the pelagic life stage, are not yet understood. We therefore recommend an integrated research agenda to study the dual effects of stratification and mixing on the complete cyanobacterial life cycle—both benthic and pelagic stages—using models, field observations and experiments.

  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 1, 2023
  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2023
  4. Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 2, 2023
  5. Near-term, ecological forecasting with iterative model refitting and uncertainty partitioning has great promise for improving our understanding of ecological processes and the predictive skill of ecological models, but to date has been infrequently applied to predict biogeochemical fluxes. Bubble fluxes of methane (CH 4 ) from aquatic sediments to the atmosphere (ebullition) dominate freshwater greenhouse gas emissions, but it remains unknown how best to make robust near-term CH 4 ebullition predictions using models. Near-term forecasting workflows have the potential to address several current challenges in predicting CH 4 ebullition rates, including: development of models that can be applied across time horizons and ecosystems, identification of the timescales for which predictions can provide useful information, and quantification of uncertainty in predictions. To assess the capacity of near-term, iterative forecasting workflows to improve ebullition rate predictions, we developed and tested a near-term, iterative forecasting workflow of CH 4 ebullition rates in a small eutrophic reservoir throughout one open-water period. The workflow included the repeated updating of a CH 4 ebullition forecast model over time with newly-collected data via iterative model refitting. We compared the CH 4 forecasts from our workflow to both alternative forecasts generated without iterative model refitting and a persistencemore »null model. Our forecasts with iterative model refitting estimated CH 4 ebullition rates up to 2 weeks into the future [RMSE at 1-week ahead = 0.53 and 0.48 log e (mg CH 4 m −2 d −1 ) at 2-week ahead horizons]. Forecasts with iterative model refitting outperformed forecasts without refitting and the persistence null model at both 1- and 2-week forecast horizons. Driver uncertainty and model process uncertainty contributed the most to total forecast uncertainty, suggesting that future workflow improvements should focus on improved mechanistic understanding of CH 4 models and drivers. Altogether, our study suggests that iterative forecasting improves week-to-week CH 4 ebullition predictions, provides insight into predictability of ebullition rates into the future, and identifies which sources of uncertainty are the most important contributors to the total uncertainty in CH 4 ebullition predictions.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2022
  6. Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 20, 2022
  7. The management of drinking water quality is critical to public health and can benefit from techniques and technologies that support near real-time forecasting of lake and reservoir conditions. The cyberinfrastructure (CI) needed to support forecasting has to overcome multiple challenges, which include: 1) deploying sensors at the reservoir requires the CI to extend to the network’s edge and accommodate devices with constrained network and power; 2) different lakes need different sensor modalities, deployments, and calibrations; hence, the CI needs to be flexible and customizable to accommodate various deployments; and 3) the CI requires to be accessible and usable to various stakeholders (water managers, reservoir operators, and researchers) without barriers to entry. This paper describes the CI underlying FLARE (Forecasting Lake And Reservoir Ecosystems), a novel system co-designed in an interdisciplinary manner between CI and domain scientists to address the above challenges. FLARE integrates R packages that implement the core numerical forecasting (including lake process modeling and data assimilation) with containers, overlay virtual networks, object storage, versioned storage, and event-driven Function-as-a-Service (FaaS) serverless execution. It is a flexible forecasting system that can be deployed in different modalities, including the Manual Mode suitable for end-users’ personal computers and the Workflow Mode idealmore »for cloud deployment. The paper reports on experimental data and lessons learned from the operational deployment of FLARE in a drinking water supply (Falling Creek Reservoir in Vinton, Virginia, USA). Experiments with a FLARE deployment quantify its edge-to-cloud virtual network performance and serverless execution in OpenWhisk deployments on both XSEDE-Jetstream and the IBM Cloud Functions FaaS system.« less
  8. Ecologists are increasingly using macrosystems approaches to understand population, community, and ecosystem dynamics across interconnected spatial and temporal scales. Consequently, integrating macrosystems skills, including simulation modeling and sensor data analysis, into undergraduate and graduate curricula is needed to train future environmental biologists. Through the Macrosystems EDDIE (Environmental Data-Driven Inquiry and Exploration) program, we developed four teaching modules to introduce macrosystems ecology to ecology and biology students. Modules combine high-frequency sensor data from GLEON (Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network) and NEON (National Ecological Observatory Network) sites with ecosystem simulation models. Pre- and post-module assessments of 319 students across 24 classrooms indicate that hands-on, inquiry-based modules increase students’ understanding of macrosystems ecology, including complex processes that occur across multiple spatial and temporal scales. Following module use, students were more likely to correctly define macrosystems concepts, interpret complex data visualizations and apply macrosystems approaches in new contexts. In addition, there was an increase in student’s self-perceived proficiency and confidence using both long-term and high-frequency data; key macrosystems ecology techniques. Our results suggest that integrating short (1–3 h) macrosystems activities into ecology courses can improve students’ ability to interpret complex and non-linear ecological processes. In addition, our study serves as one of the firstmore »documented instances for directly incorporating concepts in macrosystems ecology into undergraduate and graduate ecology and biology curricula.« less