Research

Macrosystem Biology of Temperate Steppe Rivers

NSF Macrosystem Biology of Temperate Steppe Rivers In the fall of 2015, we began a 5-yr study of macrosystem processes in 18 rivers of the temperate steppes of the North American Great Plains and the Temperate Steppes of Mongolia. This study is funded by the Macrosystem Biology program at the National Science Foundation (NSF) under […]

Playas – Ephemeral Wetlands of the Great Plains

Perspectives from Research Funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency:   Region 7 in Kansas City (Contract CD977399-01) and Region 8 in Denver (Contract CD968115-01)   Project Personnel Drs. James H. Thorp1, 2, D. Christopher Rogers1, and Brian J. O’Neill1, 2, 3 1 Kansas Biological Survey, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 2 Department of Ecology […]

River food webs: Spatial and Temporal

Spatial Changes in River Food Webs Our lab has a long history of studying food webs in rivers, but we are just beginning to explore how hydrogeomorphic fluctuations alter food web relationships in rivers. (1) What is the relative importance of ecosystem size, productivity, disturbance, and habitat complexity in controlling food chain length (FCL)?; (2) […]

River Ecosystem Concepts and Hydrogeomorphology

Landscape ecologists study physical, chemical, and biological interactions among multiple ecosystems. In the case of the highly interdisciplinary riverine landscape ecology, the focus is on studies of the four-dimensions of rivers (longitudinal, lateral, vertical, and temporal), with a particular emphasis on interactions between the wetted riverscape and the occasionally wetted floodscpae. Riverine landscape ecologists view […]

Microplastic pollution

Plastic debris, the majority of which is microscopic (<1mm), has been reported in every open ocean and many freshwater lakes and river. Microplastics enter aquatic habitats through a variety of sources, and are bioavailable to a wide range of vertebrates and invertebrates, resulting in many adverse health effects. Recently, efforts to quantify the amount of […]

Lake benthos invertebrate distribution

The distribution of benthic invertebrates is affected by physical, chemical, and biological processes. These processes interact to create distinct niches, however little research has been conducted on benthic-pelagic interactions. We investigated benthic invertebrate depth distribution in a protected Kansas reservoir with a deep metalimnetic photosynthetic community (DCM). The reservoir has a protected watershed managed by […]

Stable isotope techniques and food web metrics

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Numbers: NSF EAGER grant #1249370 to J.H.T. and NSF DDIG grant #1502017 to R.E.B. and J.H.T. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the […]

River primary production and metabolism

Ecosystem ecology encompasses the interactions between biotic (community attributes) and abiotic components of a system. Ecosystem studies focus on defining and exploring functional processes, including nutrient cycling, decomposition, and primary productivity, or the amount of carbon fixed in an ecosystem. In aquatic ecosystems, gross primary productivity (GPP) and respiration (R) can be measured using diel […]