Research Webinar: Eating, moving, and eating again: considering cross-habitat connectivity and fish movement improves our understanding of Lake Champlain food webs

Wednesday, January 31, 2024 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Zoom—Registration required

View a recording of this webinar.

Across all ecosystems, consumers can move energy and nutrients across space; that fish you catch in your favorite spot could have visited 20+ favorite spots that day. By eating in one location, moving somewhere else, and eating again, or by being eaten themselves, consumers link habitats that otherwise might be thought of as distinct, separate ecosystems. Lesser will discuss current preliminary work from the Rubenstein Lab, demonstrating how applying concepts of cross-habitat connectivity from completely different ecosystems can greatly enhance our understanding of the rules and drivers of fish production in Lake Champlain. The frameworks he utilized highlight consequences for lake food web productivity under projected climate change in the Lake Champlain basin and reveal new implications for projected ecosystem change in the face of imminent invaders.

Justin Lesser is a food web ecologist that is interested in how ecosystems that are typically thought of as distinct are connected by animal-mediated processes. He has worked in a variety of systems including coral reefs, seagrasses, and saltmarshes, and brings a unique perspective to Lake Champlain. He did his PhD at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, is a member of research a group at Florida International University, and is associated with the NSF-funded Florida Everglades LTER and Plum Island LTER (Long-Term Ecological Research) sites. This year and beyond, he will be continuing work on a food web model of Lake Champlain to better understand the impact imminent invaders will have on the Lake, and will be starting a novel study comparing winter vs summer food web connectivity within Lake Champlain and between Lake Champlain and other lakes (George, Memphremagog). 

Participants should expect approximately 30 minutes of presentation, which will be recorded, followed by a facilitated, 30-minute Q&A period. This webinar is a part of the Lake Champlain Sea Grant Research Webinar Series.

Please register in advance for this webinar.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

To request a disability-related accommodation to participate in any of these programs, please contact Lake Champlain Sea Grant / Anna Marchessault at 802-777-9130 or seagrant [at] no later than three weeks before your chosen date so we can assist you.

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