Graham Sustainability Institute

U-M Water Research Round-Up

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

From the August, 2017 Water Center Newsletter

U-M Water Research Round-Up

Water Research Round-Ups highlight new water-related research projects and applied research products across U-M. If you would like us to feature a new project or new applied product, please send a message to


Evaluating Ecosystem Service Tradeoffs in the Design, Planning & Management of Urban Forests: Tools for Enhancing Community Led Green Infrastructure Design and Planning

Project PIs: Mark Lindquist (U-M SEAS), Victoria Campbell-Arvai (U-M SEAS), Bruce Maxim (UM-Dearborn-CIS)

Funding: United States Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture - McIntire-Stennis Capacity Grant

Project investigators will

  1. Develop and evaluate U3d-DSS, an interactive, affordable, and scalable game engine based DSS,
  2. Increase opportunities for meaningful public engagement and input relating to the identification and incorporation of relevant ecosystem services in the management of urban water, and
  3. Improve the quality of decision-making as it relates to green infrastructure and urban reforestation efforts.


Quantifying how Global Change and Land Use Legacies Affect Ecosystem Processes at the Land Water Interface across the Great Lakes Basin

Project PIs and Co-PIs: Laura L. Bourgeau-Chavez (MTRI), David Hyndman (MSU), William Currie (U-M SEAS), Deborah Goldberg (U-M EEB), Kenneth Elgersma (UNI), Anthony Kendall (MSU), Jason Martina (Texas A&M), Sherry Martin (MSU), Nancy H.F. French (MTU), and Bruno Basso (MSU)

Funding: NASA

Project investigators will

  1. Use coupled process-based models to quantify the influence and legacies of human activities on fluxes of water and nutrients to land/water interfaces, and their influence on ecological processes, including wetland plant invasions;
  2. Develop scenarios of projected future changes in land use, agricultural management, and climate and simulate their impact on wetland plant invasion and ecosystem function across the Great Lakes Basin; and
  3. Translate project results into stakeholder tools that will quantify the effects of potential land management changes on coastal ecosystems.


The role of heterotrophic bacteria in protecting cyanobacteria from hydrogen peroxide in coastal systems

Project PIs and Co-PIs: Greg Dick (U-M EES), Rose Cory (U-M EES), George Kling (U-M EEB)

Funding: NSF-Biological Oceanography

Also see: Interview with Rose Cory

Project investigators will determine the influence of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) on cyanobacterial community composition and function in nearshore ecosystems. Preliminary results from Lake Erie show that dominant primary producers rely on heterotrophic bacteria to draw down H2O2 from transiently high environmental levels that are likely inhibitory to members of the cyanobacterial community. This suggests that H2O2 plays important and still poorly understood roles in aquatic microbial ecology. A combination of field sampling, experiments, and state-of-the art "-omics" will be used to test the overall hypothesis that H2O2 decomposition by heterotrophic "helpers" is an important determinant of microbial interactions and community structure and function. 



Lake Erie and Harmful Algal Blooms Series of Papers 

U-M Project PIs: Greg Dick, Earth and Environmental Sciences (EES); Rose Cory EES, Vincent Denef, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB); Melissa Duhaime EEB, George Kling, EEB, and Thomas Johengen (U-M SEAS, CIGLR)

HAB Papers: Michigan Geomicrobiology Lab Research


Annual Forecasts Lake Erie, Chesapeake Bay and the Gulf

Project PIs: Don Scavia (UM-SEAS), Dan Obenour (NCSU), Isabella Bertani (U-M Water Center), Nate Manning (U-M Water Center), Drew Gronewold (NOAA), Craig Stow (NOAA)

Hypoxia Forecasts

A collaboration between U-M, North Carolina State, and NOAA-GLERL, the forecasting team predicts that it is not going to be a good year for algal blooms in Lake Erie, the Chesapeake Bay and the Gulf of Mexico:

Each year, the team produces ensemble forecasts that estimate the potential nutrient pollution to Lake Erie, the Chesapeake and the Gulf. The Lake Erie forecast projects a Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) with a 7.5 on a 10.5 severity index scale, comparable to the three largest blooms on record. The Chesapeake Bay hypoxia forecast projects a region of 1.9 cubic miles. The Gulf of Mexico forecast projects an 8,185-square mile hypoxic region, more than four times the intergovernmental goal.


Lake Erie Ecosystem Mapping

Project PI: J. David Allan (UM-SEAS, Emeritus), Sigrid Smith (UM-SEAS)

Great Lakes Mapping: Great Lakes Environmental Assessment and Mapping Project (GLEAM)

The Great Lakes Environmental Assessment and Mapping Project (GLEAM) has a new publication that maps Lake Erie ecosystems services. The publication is titled: Ecosystem services of Lake Erie: Spatial distribution and concordance of multiple services, Journal of Great Lakes Research (2017).