Dr. Wade McGillis
Earth Institute Contact: Dr. Wade McGillis
The objectives of this work are to document and understand the impacts of aquatic plant beds on biogeochemical reactions that regulate oxygen, plant nutrients and greenhouse gasses. The work will take place in a large river (the Hudson River) where an alien invasive aquatic plant and a native aquatic plant are present in high abundance and the focus will be on species impacts as well as hydrologic impacts on the functioning of aquatic plant beds. Continuously recording instruments, modeling, and a system experiment will be used to meet the research goals. The proposed work will add to a growing body of knowledge on how species removal or addition (by species introductions) can impact ecosystem functioning. The introduced plant in the Hudson (the Eurasion water chestnut) is now being actively removed at considerable expense in lakes and river systems and in other systems, including the Hudson, decisions on water chestnut removal are still being made and the proposed work will aid in this management decision. The Hudson Valley includes a large number of educational and management groups with a substantial interest in educating diverse audiences on the ecology of the Hudson River. Through an ongoing NSF - REU grant with a focus on minority inclusion at IES, and funding from the proposed grant, undergraduates will have the opportunity to complete projects within the context of a larger ecosystem experiment. The interdisciplinary nature of this project will afford undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to be trained in both biogeochemical and physical approaches to ecosystem science.
National Science Foundation