Biocomplexity study in Lake Ontario bays and lagoons

f Environmental Science and Forestry; Jose Lobo, assistant professor of city and regional planning at Cornell; Daniel P. Loucks, professor of civil and environmental engineering at Cornell; and Rolf J. Pendall, assistant professor of city and regional planning at Cornell. The biocomplexity grant also will afford research opportunities for students, including fieldwork and laboratory internships for undergraduates and fellowships for doctoral students in multidisciplinary studies at Cornell.

Biocomplexity researchers plan to focus on several embayments along the New York coast of Lake Ontario, including Little Sodus Bay, Port Bay, South and North Sandy Ponds and Fairhaven State Park Pond. The embayments are transitional habitats between the open waters of the lake and the uplands and streams of their drainage basins. They are considered to be typical of the numerous freshwater bays throughout the Great Lakes that are associated with extensive wetlands and human settlements.

The Lake Ontario biocomplexity research plans calls for:

o Three Cornell investigators and their students to measure and model external processes at the watershed scale to determine water quality and quantity entering embayments. They are to develop watershed hydrologic-simulation capabilities, model land use and land cover, and develop a hydrodynamic simulator to model water exchange between Lake Ontario and the bay ecosystems.

o Investigators at Cornell and Syracuse universities and their students will examine internal ecosystem processes, which can change as often as weekly, by measuring plankton, pelagic fish populations, water quality and water mixing.

o Investigators at Cornell and the College of Environmental Science and Forestry and their students will study the internal ecosystem properties that change seasonally, such as fish community composition, littoral invertebrates, aquatic plants and wetland flora.

o College of Environmental Science and Forestry and Corn

Contact: Roger Segelken
Cornell University News Service

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