Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Environmental Science Director presents research on lake ecology

On Friday, Nov. 18, Dr. Patricia Saunders, Associate Professor of Biology and Director of the Ashland University Environmental Science Program, presented a talk at Cleveland State University titled "How big zooplankton cope with life in a small lake."  Her audience was students and faculty of the CSU Department of Biological, Geological, and Environmental Sciences. The presentation discussed a series of field projects completed over several years in collaboration with a number of AU biology and environmental science undergraduates. This work has established that some types of zooplankton are avoiding their predators by "hiding" during the day, and returning to the open-water areas of the lake at night. The site studied is a small, plant-rich kettle lake. Better survival of zooplankton is linked to improved water clarity in this and other lakes.  The trade-offs associated with such an energy-intensive response to predators are one focus of on-going studies.

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