Collaborative Research: RAPID: lake ecosystem responses to fire along gradients of burn characteristics and hydrologic connectivity
March 2022 - February 2024
Although wildfire activity is increasing across the US and concern is mounting over fire effects on water resources, few studies have documented fire effects on lake ecosystems. At 10844 ha, the 2021 Greenwood Fire in Superior National Forest was the largest lightning-caused Minnesota wildfire in 10 years and covered all or parts of 28 lake watersheds through October 2021. This fire event presents an unprecedented opportunity to study lake responses to fire in an especially lake-rich landscape, which may represent a harbinger of ecological change in northern forests that are expected to experience more warm, dry fire weather under climate change. This study will evaluate the physical, chemical, and biological responses of northern Minnesota lakes to the Greenwood Fire.