Robert Northington

Robert Northington
Husson University · College of Science and Humanities

PhD

About

29
Publications
7,421
Reads
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519
Citations
Introduction
I am an aquatic ecosystem ecologist broadly interested in terrestrial-aquatic linkages, and how climate change will influence those connections. I currently conduct research in the following thematic areas: 1. Changes in the C-cycle of arctic lakes in rapidly-warming regions of southwestern Greenland. 2. Alterations of physical lake characteristics due to rapid changes in Greenland terrestrial landscapes. 3. Legacy effects of prior timber harvest methods on aquatic ecosystem structure and function in western Maine. 4. Aquatic habitat structure and quality for the endangered Sierra Nevada Yellow-Legged Frog (Rana sierrae).
Additional affiliations
August 2018 - present
Husson University
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
July 2016 - July 2016
University of Maine
Position
  • Lecturer
July 2016 - August 2018
University of Maine
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
Education
August 2008 - May 2013
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Field of study
  • Aquatic Ecosystem Ecology
August 2003 - December 2005
University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Field of study
  • Aquatic Ecology
August 1999 - August 2003
Longwood University
Field of study
  • Biology and Secondary Education

Publications

Publications (29)
Article
Full-text available
Prediction of high latitude response to climate change is hampered by poor understanding of the role of nonlinear changes in ecosystem forcing and response. While the effects of nonlinear climate change are often delayed or dampened by internal ecosystem dynamics, recent warming events in the Arctic have driven rapid environmental response, raising...
Article
Full-text available
Research has revealed contradictory responses of primary producers in Arctic lakes to increasing temperatures, making it unclear how future warming and climate change will alter lake productivity. We conducted a whole-lake manipulation to examine the effect of altered thermal structure on phytoplankton biomass in a lake in Greenland, one of the mos...
Article
Full-text available
The timing of lake ice-out has advanced substantially in many regions of the Northern Hemisphere, however the effects of ice-out timing on lake properties and how they vary regionally remain unclear. Using data from two inter-annual monitoring datasets for a set of three Arctic lakes and one boreal lake, we compared physical, chemical and phytoplan...
Chapter
Stable isotope analysis has become a common tool for studying stream food webs and for testing hypotheses about stream ecosystem processes and stressors that may affect the structure of the food web or resources available to consumers. In this chapter, we provide a brief discussion of use of natural abundances of stable isotopes to study stream foo...
Article
Full-text available
Changing environmental conditions in the Arctic have caused widespread but disparate changes in the relative abundances of diatoms in the Cyclotella sensu lato group since 1850 across Arctic lakes. To better understand the mechanisms behind these species changes, we investigated how the nutrient limitation status of a lake alters the responses of t...
Article
Full-text available
Forested headwater streams are connected to their surrounding catchments by a reliance on terrestrial subsidies. Changes in precipitation patterns and stream flow represent a potential disruption in stream ecosystem function, as the delivery of terrestrial detritus to aquatic consumers and downstream transport are compromised. The potential effect...
Article
Full-text available
The Kangerlussuaq area of southwest Greenland encompasses diverse ecological, geomorphic, and climate gradients that function over a range of spatial and temporal scales. Ecosystems range from the microbial communities on the ice sheet and moisture-stressed terrestrial vegetation (and their associated herbivores) to freshwater and oligosaline lakes...
Article
Full-text available
In many lakes across the Northern Hemisphere, paleolimnological records have revealed that the relative abundances of the small centric diatom, Discostella stelligera, changed over the past century, with these widespread shifts attributed to climate change. Specifically, small-scale experiments and current spatial distribution patterns suggested th...
Data
Physical and biological data collected from southwestern Greenland lakes during summer 2014. Lake cluster refers to the sampling regions outlined in the Materials and Methods. Ice sheet distance (Dist.) is measured as the linear distance from the edge of the Greenland Ice Sheet westward toward the lake. (DOCX)
Data
Chemical data from Greenland lakes sampled during summer 2014. Specific details related to analytical techniques may be found in the Materials and Methods. (DOCX)
Article
Full-text available
We surveyed 15 lakes during the growing season of 2014 in Arctic lakes of southwest Greenland to determine which factors influence methane concentrations in these systems. Methane averaged 2.5 μmol L-1 in lakes, but varied a great deal across the landscape with lakes on older landscapes farther from the ice sheet margin having some of the highest v...
Article
Full-text available
We assessed which factors control summer epilimnion thickness in arctic lakes of southwest Greenland. A suite of 22 lakes that thermally stratify was measured in the summer of 2013; a sub-set of eight of the lakes was measured again in 2014, which was a warmer summer than 2013. Regression analysis of the 22 lakes indicated that the 1% attenuation d...
Article
Full-text available
Permafrost is degrading across regions of the Arctic, which can lead to increases in nutrient concentrations in surface freshwaters. The oligotrophic state of many Arctic lakes suggests that enhanced nutrient inputs may have important effects on these systems, but little is known about microbial nutrient limitation patterns in these lakes. We inves...
Article
A key indicator of changes in the terrestrial carbon cycle is shifting dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations in surface waters. Arctic permafrost holds twice as much C as the atmosphere, thus recent warming and changes in atmospheric deposition to the region raise the need for a better understanding of how DOC is changing in arctic surface...
Article
Full-text available
Permafrost is degrading across regions of the Arctic, which can lead to increases in nutrient concentrations in surface freshwaters. The oligotrophic state of many arctic lakes suggests that enhanced nutrient inputs may have important effects on these systems, but little is known about microbial nutrient limitation patterns in these lakes. We inves...
Article
We measured sediment methane (CH4) efflux and CH4 oxidation in intact sediment cores from 17 arctic Alaskan lakes which varied in lake area and depth. We evaluated the relationships between CH4 oxidation and lake area, depth, and hypolimnetic dissolved oxygen (DO). We also evaluated the relationship between δ13C of larval Chironomini and CH4 oxidat...
Article
Full-text available
Droughts act as significant disturbances to freshwater animals and their ecosystems. Given the impending threat of more frequent and persistent droughts because of global climate change, the lack of data on the responses of many aquatic animals to drought is a cause for concern. This study examined the body condition of the most commonly detected s...
Article
Full-text available
Forested ecosystems in the southeastern United States are currently undergoing an invasion by the hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA). Previous studies in this area have shown changes to forest structure, decreases in canopy cover, increases in organic matter, and changes to nutrient cycling on the forest floor and soil. Here, we were interested in how th...
Article
Full-text available
Among predicted impacts of climate change in the Arctic are greater thaw depth and shifts in vegetation patterns and hydrology that are likely to increase organic carbon and nutrient loading to lakes. We measured substrate limitation of sediment methane (CH4) flux, examined pathways of methanogenesis, and potential CH4 oxidation using stable isotop...
Article
Full-text available
As human populations continue to grow, expanding energy needs enhance freshwater resource conservation challenges. Mining for coal has significantly altered the landscape in the United States’ Appalachian region, with significant negative effects on downstream water quality and ecosystem function. With recent policy changes concerning the impacts o...
Chapter
Aquatic insects are abundant in most freshwater habitats and often exhibit high diversity. In aquatic food webs, they serve as food items for nearly the full range of vertebrate and invertebrate predators, and many function as predators themselves. This chapter provides a brief overview of: constraints on aquatic insect species diversity, life hist...
Article
Full-text available
Across aquatic ecosystems, benthic secondary production generally is thought to be limited by autochthonous primary production. We estimated secondary production in 8 oligotrophic arctic lakes of varying morphometric characteristics for which we also had estimates of pelagic and benthic primary production during the summer of 2001. Four of the lake...
Article
Full-text available
1. Fish community characteristics, resource availability and resource use were assessed in three headwater urban streams in Piedmont North Carolina, U.S.A. Three site types were examined on each stream; two urban (restored and unrestored) and a forested site downstream of urbanisation, which was impacted by effluent from a wastewater treatment plan...
Article
Urban streams are greatly impacted by runoff, construction, and the loss of riparian buffers. Past studies have shown the importance of terrestrial subsidies to aquatic communities in pristine, non-urban systems. During the summer of 2004, I examined how urban stream fish communities are impacted by the degradation of streamside vegetation, which t...

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