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What’s Going on Under There? How Does Vermont’s Spring Snowmelt Period Affect the Soil Ecosystem?

03/31/2021 | 3:30 pm - 4:45 pm EDT

Spring snowmelt is an important hydrological event for Vermont because melting snow carries nutrients, like nitrogen and phosphorus, to Lake Champlain. Harmful algal blooms (HABs), which occur often in Lake Champlain and disrupt the Lake ecosystem, are linked to nitrogen and phosphorus overloading during the spring snowmelt period. HABs also prevent us from recreating in the Lake during the hot summer months when we want to go for a swim. Fortunately, riparian areas, which are transition zones between the landscape and waterways, can be highly efficient at trapping and reducing nutrients before they reach the Lake. This café addresses the role of riparian areas in the reduction of nitrogen loading to streams. It will also touch on how soil conditions change throughout the spring snowmelt period, and how we can expect these changes to influence riparian soil nitrogen reduction.


Brittany Lancellotti is currently finishing up her PhD in Natural Resources from UVM’s Rubenstein School. She is very interested in how fluctuations in soil conditions influence soil nitrogen cycling in riparian areas. Brittany studied the nitrogen removal dynamics of septic systems at the University of Rhode Island before studying soil biogeochemistry at UVM.


3:30 pm - 4:45 pm EDT
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University of Vermont Extension 4-H | VTeen 4-H Science Pathways Café
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