Global Change

Aquatic ecosystems, and plankton in particular, are sensitive to various aspects of anthropogenic global change. We have been investigating the responses of phytoplankton to such stressors as ultraviolet radiation, increased nutrient loading, and also changes in mixing regimes due to increased temperature.

Currently the research focus is to predict potential phytoplankton community re-organizations under different global change scenarios in freshwater lakes. In particular, we are interested in how various alterations of physical and chemical conditions in lakes would impact different functional groups of phytoplankton, including harmful cyanobacteria. We use trait-based mechanistic approaches to understand community assembly under different environmental conditions.


Lab Members

Elena Litchman, Christopher Klausmeier


Pat Neale (SERC), Peter Bossard (EAWAG, Switzerland), Paul Falkowski, Oscar Schofield and Jim Miller (Rutgers University)


Callieri, C., G. Morabito, Y. Huot, P.J. Neale and E. Litchman. 2001. Photosynthetic response of pico- and nanoplanktonic algae to UVB, UVA and PAR in a high mountain lake. Aquatic Sciences, 63: 286-293.

Reprint (139KB PDF)

Köhler, J., M. Schmitt, H. Krumbeck, M. Kapfer, E. Litchman and P.J. Neale. 2001. Effects of UV on carbon assimilation of phytoplankton in a mixed water column. Aquatic Sciences, 63: 294-309.

Reprint (386KB PDF)

Neale, P.J., E. Litchman, C. Sobrino, C. Callieri, G. Morabito, V. Montecino, Y. Huot, P. Bossard, C. Lehmann and D. Steiner. 2001. Quantifying the response of phytoplankton photosynthesis to ultraviolet radiation: biological weighting functions versus in situ measurements in two Swiss lakes. Aquatic Sciences, 63: 265-285.

Reprint (542KB PDF)

Litchman, E., P.J. Neale and A.T. Banaszak. 2002. Increased sensitivity to ultraviolet radiation in nitrogen-limited dinoflagellates: photoprotection and repair. Limnology and Oceanography, 47: 86-94.

Reprint (130KB PDF)

Litchman, E. and P.J. Neale. 2005. UV effects on photosynthesis, growth and acclimation of an estuarine diatom and cryptomonad. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 300: 53-62.

Reprint (142KB PDF)

Litchman, E., C.A. Klausmeier, J.R. Miller, O.M. Schofield and P.G. Falkowski. 2006. Multi-nutrient, multi-group model of present and future oceanic phytoplankton communities. Biogeosciences 3: 585-606.

Reprint (1.26MB PDF)

Stieglitz, M., R. B. McKane, and C. A. Klausmeier. 2006. A simple model for analyzing climatic effects on terrestrial carbon and nitrogen dynamics: an arctic case study. Global Biogeochemical Cycles 20: GB3016

Reprint (523KB PDF)

Last updated: December 19, 2006