2022 Seasonal sensitivity of periphyton metabolism to climate warming

No Project associated with this Finding

Finding Details

PI: Professor Sadro, UC Davis

Plain language summary

Researchers conducted controlled lab experiments where periphyton samples were placed inside chambers and the effects of changes in water temperature and chemistry could be carefully controlled and measured. In order to understand how temperature and nutrients affect periphyton growth, nutrient use efficiency and nutrient uptake, researchers conducted experiments in which they quantified biological processes, including Gross Primary Productivity, Respiration, and Net Ecosystem Production, using measurements of physical and chemical variables, including oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorus, temperature and biomass. Researchers found that during late autumn through early spring periphyton metabolism is most sensitive to climate warming. Based on the findings from this study, it is estimated that periphyton biomass in Lake Tahoe may have increased by ~9% as a result of climate warming of water temperatures

How this work was accomplished:

  • 7 site visits
  • Over 2,500 environmental samples were analyzed
  • Tens of thousands of instrument data points were collected and analyzed
  • Modeling and data analysis performed included mass balance and statistical modeling
  • 4 custom made incubation tanks were developed and fabricated
  • Periphyton samples from each incubation experiment were archived (total = 7)
  • Collaboration with the USGS contributed to a larger project resulting in complementary findings.