Hydrologic and biogeochemical change in aquatic ecosystems: Disturbances, effects and seasonality across the landscape continuum
PhD: University of Colorado Boulder, 2019.
The focus of this dissertation research is centered on hydrologic and biogeochemical change of aquatic ecosystems in mountainous regions across multiple scales, as well as the influence of seasonality and disturbance to these environments. The scope of this work includes the hydrochemical response of the Boulder Creek Watershed to the 2013 flood, the seasonal dynamics of the terrestrial and aquatic environment in one of its headwater catchments, winter limnology of nearby sub-alpine lake in Rocky Mountain National Park, and analogous observations of a perennially ice-covered lake in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica. These studies seek to holistically explore the concept of dissolved organic matter (DOM) as a sentinel for phenological change and landscape connectivity, through which to potentially interpret climate pressures manifesting in lentic and lotic ecosystems worldwide. It further offers insight regarding aquatic-landscape linkages, and the contrasting transport/source limitations of major water chemistry constituents, including DOM. These investigations are supported by a series of diverse field sampling campaigns, as well as a broad suite of preparative and advanced analytical chemistry, including both spectroscopy and high-resolution mass spectrometry. Cumulatively, this research seeks to addresses research questions regarding the regulating role of hydrology across landscape continuum and the role of DOM integrating these environments.