There are eleven key biophysical science projects that the Lakes380 team aims to complete
Leaders: Marcus Vandergoes and Susie Wood
Lake selection was made with consideration to geographic spread, covering key gradients such as altitude, the presence of non-native species and catchment land cover. The team also consulted with regional councils, iwi, the Department of Conservation and the Ministry for the Environment to ensure culturally significant lakes, or those prioritised for restoration or protection were included.
Leader: Marcus Vandergoes
This project involves ensuring that the team has robust and standardized methods for sampling water and sediment in all lakes. It also includes planning field trips, arranging logistics and making sure that all trips run smoothly.
Leader: Sean Waters
Current methods of measuring lake health involved taking water samples regularly for multiple years. In this research project, we will develop new methods based on the nutrients, algae and bacteria in a surface sediment samples. We will develop these methods using a subset of lakes where lake health is well known.
Leader: Susie Wood
The methods developed in research project 3 will be applied to surface sediment samples from other lakes. This data will be to assess the current health of lakes across New Zealand.
Leader: Xavier Pochon
We will test whether the methods developed in research project 3 can be used on samples from sediment cores. This will allow us to assess changes in lake health over the last 1,000 years. We will develop DNA based methods to detect species identified by iwi/hapū partners as culturally significant e.g., tuna (eel). The methods will be used to track the past presence of these organisms in lakes.
Leader: Andrew Rees
Using the methods validated in research project 3, we will establish how the health of our lakes has changed at a national scale. We will focus on identifying how lake health has changed from pre to post-human arrival in New Zealand.
Leader: David Hamilton
This project will use the data from the sediment cores and climate models to estimate changes in lake health over the past 1,000 years. This will be used to validate models that estimate lake health. Once developed these models will be used to predict how lake health might change in the future.
Leader: Dave Kelly
Data from the surface sediment and water and sediment core samples will be used to determine the distribution on non-native organisms such as the diatom Lindavia (lake snow) and Daphnia. The sediment cores will also be used assess how introduced species have impacted the organisms that live in lakes and overall lake health. The sediment cores work will initially focus on a subset of the lakes which are known to contain perch and trout.
Leader: Jamie Howarth
This project will focus on determining how lake health has changed with shifts in land use. It will investigate changes in land use from native forest to pine plantations or agricultural land use. The project will also investigate how lakes respond to natural disturbances including storms, volcanic eruptions, and earthquakes.
Critical step leader: Chris Moy
This project aims to examine how changes in climate over the last 1,000 years have impacted water quality and the organisms that live in lakes. The data will be used to help predict how lakes might respond to predicted climate change in the future.
Leader: Marc Schallenberg
Using a subset of the lakes the data from the sediment cores will be analysed to determine when and why lakes change from a healthy to unhealthy condition. These data will help identify lakes where protection or intervention might prevent lake health deteriorating.