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Long-term Response of an Arctic River Community to Phosphorus Fertilization

With this TIEE Data Set, students assess effects of phosphorus addition on algae, moss, mayflies, and arctic grayling fish in the Kuparuk River, in the foothills of the North Slope of Alaska. Data were taken over 15 years at the Arctic Long Term Ecological Research (ARC LTER) site at the Toolik field station. Phosphorus was added to the river as an experiment to study the effects of nutrient addition different levels of the river food web. With these data, students: 1) hypothesize the influence of nutrient limitation in the community, 2) predict community response to nutrient fertilization, 3) test predictions by analyzing the long term data set, and 4) assess validity of hypotheses.
Associated files
Resource Group TIEE
Resource Group Link
Primary or BEN resource type
Discipline Specific Core Concepts
Life science discipline (subject)
Keywords TIEE; hypothesis; long term data; long term search; LTER; river; nutrient; phosphorus; chlorophyll; limiting factor; food web; community structure
Key taxa arctic greyling; fish; Baetis; mayfly; Ephemeroptera; algae; epilithic algae; moss
Intended End User Role
Educational Language
Pedagogical Use Category
Pedagogical Use Description This Data Set can be used to teach about the impacts that the addition of a limiting nutrient can have on an ecological community. The data are from a classic experiment that is an excellent example of the importance of collecting long term data and testing hypotheses with manipulative experiments. The instructor can use the Data Set to introduce students to the concepts of nutrient limitation and cascading effects using a student-active approach. Students make simple graphs using a spreadsheet, work in groups, present their analysis, write a research paper, generate a hypothesis, analyze and interpret data, and use the data to form conclusions.
Aggregation Level
Full Name of Primary Author Linda Deegan
Primary Author Controlled Name
Primary Author Affiliation Marine Biological Laboratory, The Ecosystems Center
Primary Author email
Added By Id
  • educationintern
Rights Copyright 2007 by Linda Deegan and the Ecological Society of America.
Review type
Drought and Water Ecosystem Services Collection Off
Conservation Targets Under Global Change Collection Off
Big Data Collection Off
Editors Choice No
Resource Status
Date Of Record Submission 2007-10-23
I Agree to EcoEdDL's Copyright Policy & Terms of Use No
Date Of Record Release 2010-02-16 01:30:00
Last Modified By Id
  • educationintern
Date Last Modified 2018-07-25 09:16:57
Release Flag Published

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