Jennifer Tank

Jennifer Tank
University of Notre Dame | ND · Department of Biological Sciences

http://biology.nd.edu/people/jennifer-tank/

About

229
Publications
34,987
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16,715
Citations
Citations since 2017
52 Research Items
6848 Citations
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Introduction
The Ludmilla F., Stephen J., and Robert T. Galla Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Notre Dame. Research focus on nutrient and carbon cycling in streams and rivers and the influence of human activities on water quality and stream health. Director of the University of Notre Dame Environmental Change Initiative (ND-ECI), principle investigator of the ND-ECI Land Use Program and the Director of the Notre Dame Linked Experimental Ecosystem Facility (ND-LEEF).

Publications

Publications (229)
Article
Environmental DNA (eDNA) analysis is a powerful tool for remote detection of target organisms. However, obtaining quantitative and longitudinal information from eDNA data is challenging, requiring a deep understanding of eDNA ecology. Notably, if the various size components of eDNA decay at different rates, and we can separate them within a sample,...
Article
Climate change will alter the flow availability and expected water allocations in international river treaties, many of which were designed using historical flow records. Effective transboundary treaties should anticipate these concerns and seek to satisfy the priorities of all riparian countries while being robust to impending changes in climate....
Article
Nitrous oxide (N2O) is currently the leading ozone-depleting gas and is also a potent greenhouse gas. Predictions of N2O emissions from riverine systems are difficult and mostly accomplished via regression equations based on dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) concentrations or fluxes, although recent studies have shown that hydromorphological chara...
Article
Full-text available
Stream metabolism, in the form of gross primary production (GPP) and ecosystem respiration (ER), is an important metric of stream ecosystem function, given GPP and ER are integrative measurements of basal ecosystem activity that are highly sensitive to environmental change. In agricultural streams of temperate North America GPP can be mediated by w...
Article
Full-text available
Plain Language Summary Emissions of the ozone‐layer destructor and potent greenhouse gas nitrous oxide, N2O, from rivers are a function of both nitrate loads and stream flows. Here we answer the question of whether droughts and subsequent low flows may exacerbate climate change by increasing N2O emissions, thus forming positive feedback, which may...
Article
Full-text available
Agriculturally-driven land use change and hydrologic modifications have influenced solute transport in midwestern U.S. streams. A clear understanding of the mechanisms driving nutrient export from agricultural watersheds will be critical in mitigating diffuse nutrient pollution, given anticipated shifts in hydrology associated with a changing clima...
Preprint
Full-text available
Agriculture alters the biogeochemical cycling of nutrients such as nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and silicon (Si) which contributes to the stoichiometric imbalance among these nutrients in aquatic systems. Limitation of Si relative to N and P can facilitate the growth of non-siliceous, potentially harmful, algal taxa which has severe environmental...
Article
Environmental impacts on freshwater ecosystems persist due to inputs of excess fertilizer to agricultural landscapes. Conservation efforts, such as cover crops, are being encouraged to reduce nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) runoff from fields, but their effects on working lands are rarely documented. We quantified reductions of nitrate-N and solubl...
Article
Community science via a crowdsensing platform offers a unique approach to assess well water quality efficiently at a large scale by providing an infrastructure‐free solution and allowing the community to feel empowered to assess and protect their drinking water safety. Although nearly 40 million people rely on groundwater wells as the main source o...
Article
Excess phosphorus (P) from agriculture is a leading cause of harmful and nuisance algal blooms in many freshwater ecosystems. Throughout much of the midwestern United States, extensive networks of subsurface tile drains remove excess water from fields and allow for productive agriculture. This enhanced drainage also facilitates the transport of P,...
Article
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In freshwater ecosystems, phosphorus (P) is often considered a growth-limiting nutrient. The use of fertilizers on agricultural fields has led to runoff-driven increases in P availability in streams, and the subsequent eutrophication of downstream ecosystems. Isolated storms and periodic streambed dredging are examples of two common disturbances th...
Article
A significant fraction of Earth's land surface is used for agriculture, which has led to extensive modification and degradation of streams and rivers. Although highly modified, agricultural streams offer important opportunities for advancing our understanding of agroecosystems and applying the principles of translational ecology. Using examples fro...
Article
Large wood (LW) additions are commonly used to restore degraded streams, particularly in regenerating forests that have low LW recruitment due to past logging. While the short‐term effects of LW input on stream structure and function are well studied, the long‐term dynamics of added wood are less documented. We assessed the long‐term movement and c...
Article
The Midwestern US is a highly productive agricultural region, and extended crop‐free periods in winter/spring can result in nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) losses to waterways that degrade downstream water quality. Planting winter cover crops can improve soil health while reducing nutrient leaching from farm fields during the fallow period. In this...
Article
Environmental proteins (eProteins), such as Cry proteins associated with genetically engineered (GE) organisms, are present in ecosystems worldwide, but only rarely reach concentrations with detectable ecosystem-level impacts. Despite their ubiquity, the degradation and fate of Cry and other eProteins are mostly unknown. Here, we report the results...
Article
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Lotic and lentic ecosystems are traditionally viewed as dominated by either benthic or water column processes. However, mid-sized rivers represent a transition zone where both benthic and water column processes may both contribute substantially to ecosystem dynamics. Ecosystem processes such as gross primary production (GPP), ecosystem respiration...
Article
Phosphorus (P) enrichment of headwater agricultural streams due to the runoff of fertilizers can lead to the eutrophication of downstream aquatic ecosystems. Agriculture is intensive but heterogeneous in the Mississippi River Basin, with a mixture of pasture, row crops, and patches of confined animal feedlot operations (CAFOs). Many studies have ev...
Article
In agricultural streams, constructed floodplains have been shown to expand bioreactive surface area and enhance nitrate (NO3⁻-N) removal via microbial denitrification, thereby reducing export to downstream ecosystems. At the Shatto Ditch Watershed (Indiana, USA), 0.6 km of two-stage ditch was constructed at the watershed outlet in 2007, while an ad...
Article
Subsurface tile drainage speeds water removal from agricultural fields that are historically prone to flooding. While managed drainage systems improve crop yields, they can also contribute to the eutrophication of downstream ecosystems, as tile‐drained systems are conduits for nutrients to adjacent waterways. The changing climate of the Midwestern...
Article
Full-text available
Conversion of landscapes to large-scale agriculture has substantially increased the loading of bioavailable nitrogen (N) to stream networks through extensive artificial drainage and fertilizer application. Floodplain restoration may enhance N cycling in agricultural stream systems by increasing residence time of floodwaters in contact with bioreact...
Article
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Headwaters suffer from reduced leaf and wood inputs and retention capacity from historical land actions like watershed logging and agriculture. When in-stream wood is reduced, stream retention capacity declines and subsequent changes in streamwater flow-paths and patterns of deposition alter decomposition and primary production that influence secon...
Article
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The effect of environmental policy on water resources is often challenging to evaluate due to dynamic interactions between people and water, particularly in data-scarce watersheds. Increasing interactions between society and hydrology present a need to understand causal relations for improved assessment and prediction in complex human-water systems...
Article
Floodplain restoration constructed via the two-stage ditch in agricultural streams has the potential to enhance nutrient retention and prevent the eutrophication of downstream ecosystems. Identifying the role of biotic and abiotic factors influencing soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP) retention in floodplains is of interest given that changing redox...
Article
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Organisms exert multiple, and often contrasting, influences on ecosystems. During their spawning runs, Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.) deliver nutrients to freshwater ecosystems, but also disturb benthic sediments during upstream migration and nest building. The relative importance of these contrasting roles is not well understood, especially in...
Article
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In low‐gradient, macrophyte‐rich rivers, we expect that the significant change in macrophyte biomass among seasons will strongly influence both biological activity and hydraulic conditions resulting in significant effects on nutrient dynamics. Understanding seasonal variation will improve modelling of nutrient transport in river networks, including...
Article
Sampling water for environmental DNA (eDNA) is an emerging tool for documenting species presence without direct observation, allowing for earlier detection and faster response than conventional sampling methods in aquatic ecosystems. However, current understanding of how eDNA is transported in streams and rivers remains imprecise, with uncertainty...
Article
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The majority of maize planted in the US is genetically-engineered to express insecticidal properties, including Cry1Ab protein, which is designed to resist the European maize borer (Ostrinia nubilalis). After crop harvest, these proteins can be leached into adjacent streams from crop detritus left on fields. The environmental fate of Cry1Ab protein...
Article
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Accumulation of plastic litter is accelerating worldwide. Rivers are a source of microplastic (i.e., particles <5 mm) to oceans, but few measurements of microplastic retention in rivers exist. We adapted spiraling metrics used to measure particulate organic matter transport to quantify microplastic deposition using an outdoor experimental stream. W...
Article
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Assessments of riverine ecosystem health and water quality require knowledge of how headwater streams transport and transform nutrients. Estimates of nutrient demand at the watershed scale are commonly inferred from reach-scale solute injections, which are typically reported as uptake velocities (v f ). Multiple interacting processes control v f ,...
Article
Rapid, sensitive, and quantitative protein detection is critical for many applications in medicine, environmental monitoring, and the food industry. Advancements in detection of proteins include the use of antigen-antibody binding; however, many current methods are time-consuming and have limiting factors such as low sensitivity and the inability t...
Article
Agricultural land use in the Midwestern U.S. is the major source of nitrogen (N) causing recurring hypoxia in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Despite efforts to reduce losses, N export from tile-drained, agricultural watersheds throughout the Corn Belt persists. The use of effective agricultural conservation practices can reduce N loss from fields, ye...
Article
• Understanding the mechanisms that control gross primary production (GPP) and ecosystem respiration (ER) is important in open‐canopy streams, particularly as their prevalence increases across the landscape with the expansion of human land use. • We measured resazurin (raz) transformation to resorufin (rru) as an indicator of ER in two contrasting...
Article
Full-text available
The application of environmental DNA (eDNA) to infer species presence in aquatic ecosystems has become an invaluable tool for both the ecology and management of aquatic ecosystems. However, we are only beginning to understand how environmental conditions influence eDNA detection and persistence in freshwaters. Here, we examined the degradation dyna...
Article
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Substrate heterogeneity and biofilm colonization in streams vary across both time and space, but their relative contribution to reach-scale nutrient uptake is difficult to partition. We performed multiple short-term nutrient additions over a 4-mo colonization sequence in 4 small, groundwater-fed, experimental streams. We quantified the influence of...
Article
• Wetlands are often biogeochemical hotspots, and they can remove excess N via denitrification and assimilatory uptake. Wetlands are also susceptible to plant invasions, but the effect of invasive plants on denitrification in freshwater wetland sediments is not well‐studied. • Two distinct mechanisms suggest the potential for invasive plants to alt...
Chapter
In this chapter, we describe nutrient limitation in stream ecosystems, the problems associated with elevated nutrient loading caused by human activities in the watershed, and how streams process and transform nutrients prior to downstream export. We provide a basic method for quantifying nutrient limitation of stream biofilms using nutrient diffusi...
Article
Full-text available
Human activities create threats that have consequences for freshwater ecosystems and, in most watersheds, observed ecological responses are the result of complex interactions among multiple threats and their associated ecological alterations. Here we discuss the value of considering multiple threats in research and management, offer suggestions for...
Article
Subsurface tile drainage has been used around the globe to lower the water table and drain soils that are seasonally or perennially wet making them suitable for agriculture and/or increasing productivity. However, tile drainage systems have a negative impact on water quality of adjacent streams and ditches due to the transport of excess fertilizer...
Article
Along the river network, water, sediment, and nutrients are transported, cycled, and altered by coupled hydrological and biogeochemical processes. Our current understanding of the rates and processes controlling the cycling and removal of dissolved inorganic nutrients in river networks is limited due to a lack of empirical measurements in large, (n...
Article
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Studies of trophic-level material and energy transfers are central to ecology. The use of isotopic tracers has now made it possible to measure trophic transfer efficiencies of important nutrients and to better understand how these materials move through food webs. We analyzed data from thirteen (15) N-ammonium tracer addition experiments to quantif...
Article
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Headwater streams remove, transform, and store inorganic nitrogen (N) delivered from surrounding watersheds, but excessive N inputs from human activity can saturate removal capacity. Most research has focused on quantifying N removal from the water column over short periods and in individual reaches, and these ecosystem-scale measurements suggest t...
Article
The insecticidal Cry1Ab protein expressed by transgenic (Bt) maize can enter adjacent water bodies via multiple pathways, but its fate in stream ecosystems is not as well studied as in terrestrial systems. In this study, we used a combination of field sampling and laboratory experiments to examine the occurrence, leaching, and degradation of solubl...
Article
Full-text available
Co-injections of conservative tracers and nutrients are commonly used to assess travel time distributions and nutrient removal in streams. However, in-stream tracer data often lack information on long-term hyporheic storage, and removal rate coefficients are often assumed to be uniform despite plentiful evidence that microbially-mediated transforma...
Article
Full-text available
Advances in detection of genetic material from species in aquatic ecosystems, including environmental DNA (eDNA), have improved species monitoring and management. eDNA from target species can readily move in streams and rivers and the goal is to measure it, and with that infer where and how abundant species are, adding great value to delimiting spe...
Conference Paper
Accurately estimating watershed nutrient export can be challenging as traditional monitoring approaches using grab samples often underestimate nutrient loads during storms. Continuous nitrate-N sensors offer an opportunity to examine nutrient dynamics on a more resolved temporal scale that could help document benefits of conservation and restoratio...
Conference Paper
Traditional monitoring approaches using grab samples can present limitations to accurately estimating watershed nutrient export during storms. Continuous nitrate-N sensors offer an opportunity to examine nutrient dynamics on a more resolved temporal scale that could help document benefits of conservation and restoration. We deployed continuous nitr...
Article
Western Lake Erie Basin (WLEB) is the most intensively farmed region of the Great Lakes. Because of the flat topography and poorly-drained soils many farmers rely on drainage management practices (e.g., subsurface tile drainage, ditch channelization) to maintain productive agriculture. However, these practices also facilitate the delivery of excess...
Article
Full-text available
While environmental DNA (eDNA) is now being regularly used to detect rare and elusive species, detection in lotic environments comes with a caveat: the species being detected is likely some distance upstream from the point of sampling. Here we conduct a series of semi-natural stream experiments to test the sensitivity of new digital droplet PCR (dd...
Article
Full-text available
Streambed substrates harbor a rich biome responsible for biogeochemical processing in riverine waters. Beyond their biological role, the presence of benthic and hyporheic biofilms can play an important role in influencing large-scale transport of solutes, even for conservative tracers. As biofilms grow and accumulate biomass, they actively interact...
Article
Full-text available
Detecting environmental DNA (eDNA) in water samples is a powerful tool in determining the presence of rare aquatic species. However, many open questions remain as to how biological and physical conditions in flowing waters influence eDNA. Motivated by what one might find in a stream/river benthos we conducted experiments in continuous flow columns...
Article
Excess nitrogen (N) causes numerous water quality problems, and in the upper Mississippi River Basin, much of the excess N results from landscape modifications necessary for row crop agriculture. Several conservation practices reduce N export, but cost estimates for these practices are often lacking, which can inhibit decisions by farmers and polic...
Article
Freshwater mussels are in decline worldwide, but it remains challenging to link specific stressors to mussel declines. The clubshell mussel (Pleurobema clava) is a federally endangered species that spends most of its life completely buried beneath stream sediments. We tested the hypothesis that clubshell’s decline stems, in part, from low pore wate...
Article
Riverine biogeochemical processes are understudied relative to headwaters, and reach-scale processes in rivers reflect both the water column and sediment. Denitrification in streams is difficult to measure, and is often assumed to occur only in sediment, but the water column is potentially important in rivers. Dissolved nitrogen (N) gas flux (as di...
Article
Benthic biofilms have multiple functions in stream and river ecosystems, and their growth and productivity are often limited by dissolved inorganic nutrient availability, particularly N or P. We deployed nutrient diffusing substrata (NDS) in 5 rivers in each of 3 regions: the Mountain West, the Arid West, and the Midwest, to assess regional and sea...
Article
Full-text available
Ecosystem metabolism, that is, gross primary productivity (GPP) and ecosystem respiration (ER), controls organic carbon (OC) cycling in stream and river networks and is expected to vary predictably with network position. However, estimates of metabolism in small streams outnumber those from rivers such that there are limited empirical data comparin...
Article
Viable large-scale crop production in the United States requires artificial drainage in humid and poorly drained agricultural regions. Excess water removal is generally achieved by installing tile drains that export water to open ditches that eventually flow into streams. Drainage water management (DWM) is a conservation practice that allows farmer...
Article
Full-text available
Nutrient transformation processes such as assimilation, dissimilatory transformation, and sorption to sediments are prevalent in benthic zones of headwater streams, but may also occur in the water column. The river continuum concept (RCC) predicts that water column processes become increasingly important with increasing stream size. We predicted th...
Article
Two-stage ditches represent an emerging management strategy in artificially drained agricultural landscapes that mimics natural floodplains and has the potential to improve water quality. We assessed the potential for the two-stage ditch to reduce sediment and nutrient export by measuring water column turbidity, nitrate (NO3−), ammonium (NH4+), and...
Article
In the Mississippi River Basin (MRB), practices that enhance drainage (e.g., channelization, tile drainage) are necessary management tools in order to maintain optimal agricultural production in modern farming systems. However, these practices facilitate, and may speed the delivery of excess nutrients and sediments to downstream water bodies via ag...
Article
The two-stage ditch is a novel management practice originally implemented to increase bank stability through floodplain restoration in channelized agricultural streams. To determine the effects of two-stage construction on sediment and nutrient loads, we monitored turbidity, and also measured total suspended solids (TSS), dissolved inorganic nitrog...
Article
Full-text available
Reservoirs often receive excess nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) lost from agricultural land, and may subsequently influence N and P delivery to inland and coastal waters through internal processes such as nutrient burial, denitrification, and nutrient turnover. Currently there is a need to better understand how reservoirs affect nutrient transport...
Article
Full-text available
In streams and rivers, the benthic and hyporheic regions harbor the microbes that process many stream-borne constituents, including O2, nutrients, C, and contaminants. The full distribution of transport time scales in these highly reactive regions must be understood because solute delivery and extended storage in these metabolically active zones co...
Article
Full-text available
In alluvial systems, substrate characteristics play a critical role in slowing downstream transport of both water and solutes. We present results from solute injection experiments testing the influence of sediment size (pea gravel versus coarse gravel) and heterogeneity (alternating sections versus well-mixed reaches) on solute transport dynamics i...
Article
Full-text available
Channelized streams are common in North American agricultural regions, where they minimize water residence time and biological nutrient processing. Floodplain restoration done via the 2-stage-ditch management strategy can improve channel stability and nutrient retention during storms. We examined the influence of floodplain restoration on whole-str...