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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 November 1, 2023
  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 1, 2023
  4. Abstract Lake ecosystems, as integrators of watershed and climate stressors, are sentinels of change. However, there is an inherent time-lag between stressors and whole-lake response. Aquatic metabolism, including gross primary production (GPP) and respiration (R), of stream–lake transitional zones may bridge the time-lag of lake response to allochthonous inputs. In this study, we used high-frequency dissolved oxygen data and inverse modeling to estimate daily rates of summer epilimnetic GPP and R in a nutrient-limited oligotrophic lake at two littoral sites located near different major inflows and at a pelagic site. We examined the relative importance of stream variables in comparison to meteorological and in-lake predictors of GPP and R. One of the inflow streams was substantially warmer than the other and primarily entered the lake’s epilimnion, whereas the colder stream primarily mixed into the metalimnion or hypolimnion. Maximum GPP and R rates were 0.2–2.5 mg O 2 L −1  day −1 (9–670%) higher at littoral sites than the pelagic site. Ensemble machine learning analyses revealed that > 30% of variability in daily littoral zone GPP and R was attributable to stream depth and stream–lake transitional zone mixing metrics. The warm-stream inflow likely stimulated littoral GPP and R, while the cold-stream inflow only stimulatedmore »littoral zone GPP and R when mixing with the epilimnion. The higher GPP and R observed near inflows in our study may provide a sentinel-of-the-sentinel signal, bridging the time-lag between stream inputs and in-lake processing, enabling an earlier indication of whole-lake response to upstream stressors.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 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
  6. Markel, Scott (Ed.)
    The opportunity to participate in and contribute to emerging fields is increasingly prevalent in science. However, simply thinking about stepping outside of your academic silo can leave many students reeling from the uncertainty. Here, we describe 10 simple rules to successfully train yourself in an emerging field, based on our experience as students in the emerging field of ecological forecasting. Our advice begins with setting and revisiting specific goals to achieve your academic and career objectives and includes several useful rules for engaging with and contributing to an emerging field.