Assessing the Effects of Glacier Meltwater on Lake Ecosystems in Torres del Paine, Chile

Torres del Paine, Chile

Assessing the effects of glacial meltwater on lake ecosystems in Torres del Paine, Chile

Carmen Daggett, Juan Garcia

Recent research in the Rocky Mountains of North America has revealed that melt water from glaciers and rock glaciers is rich in nitrate. These streams of melt water drain into lake ecosystems, thereby enriching them with nitrate to levels that are two orders of magnitude higher than in lakes not receiving glacial melt water. Nitrogen is a key limiting nutrient in alpine lake ecosystems, hence this influx of nitrate-rich glacial melt water has profound effects on productivity and species diversity in alpine lakes. The primary goal of this project is to explore the chemistry and biota of a suite of lakes in the Torres del Paine National Park, located in Patagonia, Chile.

Funding support:  Dan & Betty Churchill Fund