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Effects of Nutrient Enrichment on Food Web Dynamics in Restored Freshwater HabitatsEPA Grant Number: U915143
Title: Effects of Nutrient Enrichment on Food Web Dynamics in Restored Freshwater Habitats
Investigators: Bolser, Robin C.
Institution: University of California - Santa Barbara
EPA Project Officer: Smith, Bernice
Project Period: January 1, 1997 through January 1, 2001
Project Amount: $102,000
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (1997) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: Academic Fellowships , Ecological Indicators/Assessment/Restoration , Fellowship - Ecology and Ecosystems
The objectives of this research project are to: (1) investigate the factors influencing the nutritional quality of aquatic plants in temporary ("vernal") pools in southern California; and (2) investigate the effects of variation in plant quality on food web dynamics in this system.
Plants growing in environments that differ in nutrient inputs can vary greatly in food quality for herbivores. For example, nitrogen content of plant tissue can increase with fertilization or plant chemical defenses can be altered. Comparative studies of vernal pool communities varying in restoration status (natural, enhanced, or created) will be conducted. Later, experimental manipulations of nutrients in mesocosms (children's pools) will hopefully allow separate testing of the effects of plant amount (productivity) versus plant quality on growth and survival of consumer organisms with and without their predators.