Sebastian Theis, Ph.D. Student
Assessing habitat enhancements to improve the restoration and development of northern boreal lakes.
My main research focus will be on how habitat enhancement in northern boreal lakes can help to improve restoration and offsetting efforts in lentic freshwater systems. I will specifically focus on the introduction of large woody debris (LWD) in riparian and littoral lake zones. Beneficial effects of LWDs range from habitat coupling over improved nutrient cycling to provision of rearing and spawning habitat for different aquatic species. While extensively studied for streams and rivers, little to no research has been done on lakes. To fill this knowledge gap we will construct LWD structures in designated lakes and measure their effect on water quality, nutrient availability, zooplankton, phytoplankton and fish biomass as well as habitat utilization. Sampling will be done in certain time intervals post-construction through electro-fishing, netting, sediment and water samples and visual surveys.