text-only page produced automatically by LIFT Text Transcoder Skip all navigation and go to page contentSkip top navigation and go to directorate navigationSkip top navigation and go to page navigation
National Science Foundation
News
design element
News
News From the Field
For the News Media
Special Reports
Research Overviews
NSF-Wide Investments
Speeches & Lectures
NSF Current Newsletter
Multimedia Gallery
Search Multimedia
Image
Video
Audio
More
Multimedia in the News
NSF Executive Staff
News Archive
 

Email this pagePrint this page
Imagine That! - Aquatic Food Change


Imagine That!
Audio Play Audio

Imagine That! - Aquatic Food Change

Credit: NSF/Finger Lakes Productions International

Audio Transcript:

Some lake fish enjoy a beautiful breezy day as much as we do... for all the food that blows or falls right into their...uh...laps!

Imagine that!

The underwater food chain is a tough thing to observe, since it all goes on...underwater. But scientists have long suspected that for organisms making their homes in lakes, terrestrial matter (stuff that comes from the air and land outside of the lake) has big impact on the plants and animals shopping for food under the surface. But they had only limited evidence to support that...until now.

At the Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, New York, senior scientist Michael Pace and his colleagues found that by adding carbon-thirteen, a stable isotope, to a lake, they were able to trace the algae and underwater plants through the food chain to see if they alone provided enough food for the lake organisms to survive on.

And the answer is, they didn't! Leaves, twigs, and insects that fell into the lake provided a major necessary portion of food for lake dwellers as well! Michael Pace explains:

Pace: "It turns out these flows from the land to the lake are quite significant and support the ecology of the lake."

So, development to surrounding areas has an impact on the land and water creatures. Though fish aren't about to crawl up onto the shore for food, they do appreciate some good surf and turf now and then. I'm Eric Phillips.

"Imagine That!" covers projects funded by the U.S. government's National Science Foundation. Federally sponsored research -- brought to you by you! Learn more at nsf.gov.

 
General Restrictions:
Images and other media in the National Science Foundation Multimedia Gallery are available for use in print and electronic material by NSF employees, members of the media, university staff, teachers and the general public. All media in the gallery are intended for personal, educational and nonprofit/non-commercial use only.

Images credited to the National Science Foundation, a federal agency, are in the public domain. The images were created by employees of the United States Government as part of their official duties or prepared by contractors as "works for hire" for NSF. You may freely use NSF-credited images and, at your discretion, credit NSF with a "Courtesy: National Science Foundation" notation. Additional information about general usage can be found in Conditions.

RealPlayer icon
This Audio requires the free RealPlayer plug-in.

 



Email this pagePrint this page
Back to Top of page