Lakes serve as sentinels and integrators of large-scale environmental change because they respond rapidly to climatic drivers and are tightly connected to their surrounding landscapes. Microbial communities drive the flow of carbon through these lakes by processing dissolved organic carbon, breaking down particulate organic carbon, fixing and respiring large quantities of carbon dioxide, quenching methane produced in sediments, and sequestering carbon in biomass. Wisconsin’s Crystal Bog Lake freezes over during winter and mixes multiple times annually. The lake has moderate phytoplankton activity and high bacterial metabolism. Genomic and metagenomic sequencing projects focusing on aquatic microbial communities have to date been heavily skewed towards marine systems. As primary drivers of within-lake carbon processing, microbes and their activities determine the extent to which lakes are net sinks or sources of carbon. This project represents one of the largest efforts to recover metagenomic sequence from freshwaters.
Proposer’s Name: Katherine D. McMahon