Additional Participants

Senior Personnel

Ivan Fernandez

Aria Amirbahman

Katherine Webster

George Jacobson

Kevin Simon

Stum Ohno

Jasmine Saros


Petr Porcal

Graduate Student

Brett Holmes

Bjorn Lake

Michael Sanclements

Heather Goss

Mollie Laird

Tiffany Wilson

David Huntress

Farrah Fatemi

Randall Perry

Undergraduate Student

Ryan Laracy

Benjamin Lynch

Janet Southwick

Mikaela Martin

Samuel Roy

Robert Harrington

Technician, Programmer

Johanna Szillery

Denis Anderson

Other Participant

Josef Vesely

Jiri Kopacek

Tomas Navratil

Marie-Claire Pierret

Mary-Beth Adams

Organizational Partners

Department of Interior National Park Service

Department of Agriculture USDA Research Laboratories

Louis Pasteur University, Strasbourg, Fr

Czech Geological Survey

Hydrobiological Institute, Czech Academy

Maine Department of Environmental Protec

U S Geological Survey

Project Period

September 2007-August 2008

Level of Access

Open-Access Report

Grant Number


Submission Date



This research will investigate how the elements aluminum (Al) and phosphorus (P), both originally from soil, interact in water moving through soil pores to downstream lakes in ways that prevent P from being biologically available to algae in surface waters. This causes oligotrophic conditions (i.e., water with very low nutrient concentrations). Solid aluminum hydroxide will adsorb and can permanently capture P from the water if the acidity is low. Changes in the acidity of surface waters from "acid rain", climate change, or other factors should induce changes in the interaction between Al and P, and thus changes in the biological productivity of surface waters. These water quality responses will be investigated with laboratory and field experiments, studies at four long-term watershed sites (in Maine, West Virginia, and the Czech Republic), and dynamic process-oriented mathematical models.
Phosphorus is commonly the limiting nutrient for organisms in streams and lakes. An excessive supply of P to surface water from natural sources or human activities can cause eutrophication (highly productive water), a condition that can have undesirable effects. The supply of P to many surface waters is high, but the majority of the P is not available for biota, causing oligotrophic conditions. This research will explain the conundrum of high fluxes of P in ecosystems, yet oligotrophic conditions in associated surface waters.

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