Dr. Monica G.Turner
Department of Integrative Biology
University of Wisconsin
430 Lincoln Dr.
Madison, WI 53706
Ecosystem and
Landscape Ecology Lab

Land-water interactions in Wisconsin Landscapes


Monica Turner, Jiangxiao Qiu


riparian, wetlands, watershed, shoreline development, terrestrial-aquatic interactions, long-term ecological research (LTER), eutrophication, carbon cycling, land-use change

Research Overview

Lakes and rivers are important features of the landscape of northern and southern Wisconsin. Research in our lab often focuses on the landscape setting surrounding fresh water ecosystems and interactions between the terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Our research also contributes to understanding linked social-ecological systems.

In our current studies, we are focusing on how climate and land-use change in the Yahara River Watershed (which surrounds Madison, WI and includes Lake Mendota) may affect the provisioning of ecosystem services associated with fresh water resources and a variety of other provisioning, supporting and cultural services. Our work is conducted in collaboration with a team of other UW-Madison researchers and funded by the National Science Foundation; detailed information about this project can be found at the project web site. Jiangxiao Qiu’s doctoral dissertation will address these issues, focusing on spatial tradeoffs and synergies among different ecosystem services; read more about this work…

Another current focus is lake remote sensing and landscape analysis. Our goal is to understand how lake water quality in Wisconsin (statewide) is changing over time and to anticipate how lakes will change in the future. For example, predicting how inland lakes will respond to climate change requires an in-depth understanding of the complex interactions between the drivers of water clarity and the inherent variability in individual lake responses. In collaboration with the Wisconsin DNR, our lab will investigate mechanisms behind the major drivers of water clarity in the Upper Midwest, and develop models for how future climate and land-use scenarios may affect water clarity. The research builds on an ongoing lake monitoring program and the North Temperate Lakes LTER program, and develops new research focused on the use of satellite remote sensing.

Funding Source

Water Sustainability and Climate Program, NSF; Long-Term Ecological Research program, NSF; Wisconsin DNR.

Selected publications:

In progress