Approaches for quantifying freshwater nutrient criteria


As a scholar at a land-grant institution, I feel a strong drive to conduct research that can directly and immediately inform policy. My collaborator, Kendra Spence Cheruvelil and I were invited to be members of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Nutrient Criteria Working Group to develop a new tool to quantify nutrient criteria in lakes and streams. This tool is a landscape model based on our principles of landscape limnology that quantitatively predicts nutrient standards for each lake in the state using available GIS data (Soranno et al. 2008). I have also worked with the Fond du Lac and Grand Portage Band Reservations in Minnesota to develop nutrient standards in tribal waters for each reservation. Given the unique nature of each of the tribes and their waters, I developed a different approach for quantifying nutrient standards in their water bodies. 

More recently, Kendra Cheruvelil led the effort to revise our 2008 model for the state of Michigan to better manage water quality in its lakes. Her manuscript on this work is in preparation.

To date, my collaborators, students and I have published the following in this area:

Soranno, P.A., T. Wagner, S.L. Martin, C. McLean, L.N. Novitski, C. Provence, and A.R. Rober. 2011. Quantifying regional reference conditions for freshwater ecosystem management: a comparison of approaches and future research needs. Lake and Reservoir Management. 27(2):138-148. PDF

Soranno, P.A., K.S. Cheruvelil, R.J. Stevenson, S.L. Rollins, S.W. Holden, S. Heaton, and E.K. Torng. 2008. A framework for developing ecosystem-specific nutrient criteria: Integrating biological thresholds with predictive modeling. Limnology and Oceanography 53(2): 773-787. (Available free online) PDF


Michigan State University