Observing System Deployment to Measure Year-round Export Production and Phosphorus Fluxes Related to Hypoxia in Lake Erie's Central Basin

The absence of winter information compromises our overall understanding of the Great Lakes ecosystem, and our ability to develop and calibrate ecological and food web models to forecast change, or the ecosystem’s response to system drivers (e.g., invasive species, timing of nutrient inputs, annual environmental variability). This project will address these gaps by deploying an observing system with multiple components. A sequential sediment trap will allow collection of material being advected throughout the year, and also measure the initial rate of DO consumption using oxygen loggers incorporated in half the bottles. A multi-spectral fluorometer (FluoroProbe) will record phytoplankton abundance and community composition near the sediment, light intensity loggers will record the potential for benthic primary production, and an in-situ P analyzer will measure the release and persistence of reactive P prior to and following turnover. These deployments over a period of three years would provide a unique time series that complements shipboard observations made during April-October, winter sampling aboard US and Canadian Coast Guard vessels, and the hypoxia mooring network operated by NOAA GLERL with GLRI support. 

FY2024: $105,000

FY2023: $200,000