Report of progress and activities in appointment period :

1 September 1997 - 2 July 1998

Kathryn L. Cottingham

OVERVIEW

I have spent the past 10 months continuing the three major activities begun in the first year of my postdoctoral appointment: (1) playing an active role in the NCEAS working group on community dynamics in lake ecosystems, (2) completing limnological projects that were in progress prior to my arrival at NCEAS, and (3) continuing my literature review on early warning indicators of discontinuous change in ecosystem state,

  1. The Community Dynamics Working Group has made a great deal of progress. We had our third and fourth meetings this year, one with the full group in November 1997, and a smaller, sub-group meeting in March 1998. I’m particularly proud of our efforts during the March 1998 meeting, at which a group of 10 postdocs and grad students wrote a conceptual paper on ways to think about variability in ecological communities; this paper is currently in review at Oikos. I am also involved in a variety of other sub-projects within the larger group effort:

I have continued to maintain the group’s SAS database of physical, chemical and biological data on 35 North American lakes sampled by 5 different research groups. We’ve gone through several major dataset upgrades, and I expect to continue being the primary point contact for this dataset. Preliminary metadata forms in Ecological Markup Language (EML) are now available, thanks to the energetic assistance of Noah Goldstein.

  1. I also made considerable progress in publishing limnological research conducted while I was a graduate student or initiated as long-distance collaborations from NCEAS. All three of my dissertation papers are now either in press or published, and I have a number of other papers in review.
  2. My project on early warning indicators continues to progress, but slowly. In response to mentor suggestions that I focus on the working group and its more readily defined and completable products, I put the literature review and simulation studies on the back burner for much of the year. I have continued to collect the literature on this issue, and have read about half of the papers. I’ll be going back to NCEAS to finish this review during Winter 1999, and hope to produce a concrete product during that visit. I’ve also talked to some of my new colleagues at Dartmouth College about collaborating on the simulation models to evaluate anticipatory indicators. This project is still alive, but as a lower priority than I’d originally planned.

 

Other Contributions:

I presented the results of this research both locally and nationally. I delivered invited colloquium talks at Dartmouth College, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the University of Notre Dame. I also gave short talks on my research at the Dissertations Initiative in Limnology and Oceanography (DIALOG II) symposium in Bermuda (October 1997) and the Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting in Baltimore (August 1998), and presented a poster at the Penrose Conference on Linking Spatial and Temporal Scales in Paleoecology and Ecology in Maryland and Virginia (May 1998). In addition, I gave six presentations at NCEAS.

During the past year, I’ve also started to take on my leadership responsibilities:

 

PRODUCTS

Papers for which all analysis and writing was conducted at NCEAS:

Cottingham, K.L. and P.R. Leavitt. Increased ecosystem variability and reduced predictability following nutrient enrichment: implications for large-scale manipulations.

In preparation; plan to submit to Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences during Fall 1998.

Cottingham, K.L., F. Micheli, N. Yan, T. Frost, and M.D. Paterson. Parallel responses to whole-lake manipulation: evidence from zooplankton communities.

In preparation; plan to send out to co-authors for friendly review during October 1998, with a target submission date of January 1999.

Derived from the NCEAS Community Dynamics Working Group (Ives-Frost).

Dennis, B., A.R. Ives, K.L. Cottingham, and S.R. Carpenter. Multivariate stochastic model for estimating ecological interactions.

In preparation; plan to submit to Ecological Monographs during Fall 1998.

Derived from the NCEAS Community Dynamics Working Group (Ives-Frost).

Dodson, S.I., S.E. Arnott, and K.L. Cottingham. Effects of primary productivity on species richness: patterns in lake communities.

Submitted to Ecology, 14 January 1998; no word yet on its status.

Derived from the NCEAS Diversity - Productivity Working Group (Waide-Willig).

Jackson, L.J., A.S. Trebitz, and K.L. Cottingham. A simulation primer for ecological modeling.

Submitted to Bioscience, 5 February 1998. Although the manuscript was rejected in its initial form, we have been encouraged to revise & resubmit during Fall 1998 or Winter 1999.

Micheli, F., K.L. Cottingham, J. Bascompte, O. Bjørnstad, G.L. Eckert, J.M. Fischer, T.F. Keitt, B.E. Kendall, J.L. Klug and J.A. Rusak. The dual nature of community variability.

Submitted to Oikos, June 1998.

Derived from the NCEAS Ad Hoc Working Group on Community Variability (Cottingham-Micheli).

 

Papers from field research at Wisconsin but for which a substantial portion of the analysis and writing was done at NCEAS:

Cottingham, K.L. and S.R. Carpenter. 1998. Population, community, and ecosystem variates as indicators: Phytoplankton response to whole-lake enrichment. Ecological Applications 8(2):508-530.

Cottingham, K.L. 1998. Changes in phytoplankton size structure following experimental perturbations of nutrients and grazer size. Limnology and Oceanography, in press.

Cottingham, K.L., S.R. Carpenter and A.L. St. Amand. 1998. Responses of epilimnetic phytoplankton to experimental nutrient enrichment in three small seepage lakes. Journal of Plankton Research, in press.

Cottingham, K.L. and D.E. Schindler. Effects of zooplankton community structure on the resilience and resistance of lake phytoplankton.

Submitted to Ecology, June 1998.

 

Datasets

Cottingham, K.L. and F. Micheli. Dataset for the NCEAS Community Dynamics Working Group.

In progress; first draft of meta-data documentation completed in June 1998.

 

Presentations at National Meetings:

Cottingham, K.L. 1997. Phytoplanktonr responses to whole-lake manipulations of nutrients and food webs. Dissertations Initiative in Limnology and Oceanography (DIALOG) Symposium II, Bermuda. (talk)

Cottingham, K.L. and the NCEAS Community Dynamics Working Group. 1997. Parallel responses to whole-lake manipulations: evidence from zooplankton communities. Dissertations Initiative in Limnology and Oceanography (DIALOG) Symposium II, Bermuda. (poster)

Cottingham, K.L., F. Micheli, and the NCEAS Community Dynamics Working Group. 1998. Assembly and application of a long-term database on zooplankton community dynamics in 34 north temperate lakes. Penrose Conference on Linking Spatial and Temporal Scales in Paleoecology and Ecology, Solomons, MD. (poster)

Cottingham, K.L. and P.R. Leavitt. 1998. Increased ecosystem variability and reduced predictability following nutrient enrichment: Implications for large-scale manipulations. Ecological Society of America, Baltimore, MD. (talk)

 

Invited Presentations:

"Phytoplankton responses to nutrient and food web manipulations: evidence from models, mesocosms, and whole-lake experiments." Department of Biological Sciences, Dartmouth College, 18 December 1997.

"What variates make the most reliable ecological indicators? A case study of phytoplankton responses to whole-lake enrichment." Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 7 January 1998.

"Phytoplankton responses to nutrient and food web manipulations: evidence from models, mesocosms, and whole-lake experiments." Department of Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame, 15 January 1998.

 

Presentations at NCEAS:

"Are there early warning indicators of discontinuous changes in ecosystem state?" Progress report to the NCEAS Science Advisory Board, September 1997.

"Phytoplankton responses to nutrient and food web manipulations: evidence from models, mesocosms, and whole-lake experiments." Practice talk for job interviews, December 1997.

"Meeting Report: NCEAS Community Dynamics Working Group III", December 1997. (with Fiorebza Micheli)

"Effects of zooplankton community structure on phytoplankton responses to nutrient pulses", February 1998.

"Parallel responses to whole-lake manipulations", May 1998.

"Restoration of native plants in California grasslands: Preliminary results", June 1998. (with a host of collaborators, including Shorty Boucher, Elizabeth Borer, Becky Burton, Wendy Gram, Lloyd Goldwasser, Bruce Kendall, Fiorenza Micheli, and Eric Seabloom)