Project Title: The impact of excess nutrients in Waquoit Bay estuaries

Duration: April-2022 to December-2022

Funding Source(s): Various educational programs at MBL, including the Logan Science Journalism Program, the NSFREU Biological Discovery in Woods Hole Program, the University of Chicago Metcalf Summer Internship Program, the Brown-MBL LINK Internship Program, and the Semester in Environmental Science. 

Principal Investigator and institutional affiliation

Lead Investigator: Javier Lloret

Affiliation: Marine Biological Laboratory

Project Description:

Dr. Lloret, together with several groups of students, interns, and faculty from several educational programs at the Marine Biological Laboratory, will be developing projects aimed at understanding the effects of excess nutrient loadings on ground- and estuarine water quality, and their impacts on the food webs of the various Waquoit Bay estuaries. They will define links between nitrogen loads from shifting land use and atmospheric deposition for the region, groundwater nitrogen concentrations, and water quality indicators in selected receiving estuaries. To achieve this goal, they will evaluate how changing climate drivers (increased rainfall, lowered nitrogen concentrations in deposition, and higher temperatures) alter timing and amount of nitrogen discharged from watersheds to receiving estuaries. They will also examine how excessive nitrogen loads alter the composition and structure of estuarine food webs. Waquoit Bay’s range in nitrogen loads will serve as a wider context within which to place data from other local estuaries.