Welcome! Organizing and Big Questions

Welcome to the Lake Merritt Citizen Monitoring Study! The purpose of this project is to continue the 50+ year study of the aquatic community at Lake Merritt started by Dr. Jim Carlton of Williams College (from 1962 to 1972) and re-launched by the Smithsonian Institution (since 2016). Jim Carlton made an exhaustive survey of Lake organisms while he was an Oakland High School student starting as a freshman in 1962, and continuing into his undergraduate years at UC Berkeley. You can see him as a high school student near Site G on the project map. By 1972 he had found approximately 50 invertebrate species living in the lake — only 11 of which were natives. In October 2016, Carlton and Dr. Andrew Chang and colleagues from the Smithsonian Environmental Research Laboratory (SERC) branch in Tiburon repeated Jim’s 1960s survey using the same field sites (A-H) and methods as much as possible. They found approximately 50 invertebrate species in a single day, which included many fully marine species not found in the Lake in the 1960s.
[This appears to have been due to Lake Merritt having become much more salty over the years.]

Then came the rainy winter of 2017!
This is a unique opportunity to see how a professionally-censused estuary lagoon community responds to drought, extreme freshening events, bioinvasions and climate change.
How many species will survive? Will new species appear? How will they appear in the community (zonation, numbers)?
Water temperature and salinity are important environmental variables and different species have different tolerances and adaptations to variations. If you can measure salinity with an aquarium hydrometer and temperature when you make observations, that's great. But if you can't don't let that stop you. I will try to add that data as a comment if it was recorded by other observers. If you would like to get an official LMCMS checksheet and picture guide, please send me an iNaturalist message!
I will try to add photos taken this spring and photos I have taken going back to the early 2000's.

Publicado por ktnoon ktnoon, 14 de julho de 2017, 03:39 TARDE

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