Cooperative Research Units
Education, Research And Technical Assistance For Managing Our Natural Resources
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The effects of cross-scale interactions on freshwater ecosystem state across space and time


May 2011 - May 2016


Understanding cross-scale interactions (CSIs) is a critical research frontier in macrosystems ecology that extends across all environmental sciences. A CSI exists where a driver at one scale, such as local land use, interacts with a driver at another scale, such as regional climate. These CSIs can lead to nonlinear and often unexpected relationships between drivers and responses. Unfortunately, general properties of CSIs, such as the conditions in which they occur, are largely unknown, partly because they have been quantified in only a few instances. We use lakes and their major nutrients (phosphorus, nitrogen, and organic carbon) as a model system because lakes are affected by many of the main classes of drivers postulated to be a part of CSIs (e.g., connectivity, land use, and climate), and because there is a wealth of existing data and knowledge from small-scale studies regarding possible mechanisms through which drivers could interact across scales.


Current Staff

Federal Staff: 95

Masters Students: 239

Phd Students: 142

Post Docs: 53

University Staff: 240

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 701

Scientific Publications: 1936

Presentations: 4260



Funding Agencies

  • NSF


Cooperative Research Units Program Headquarters Cooperators

  1. U.S. Geological Survey