What determines the structure and function of stream and wetland ecosystems?

Thomas M. Burton

Professor, Zoology

  Aquatic Ecology

The goal of my research program is to understand the structure and function of stream and marsh ecosystems. Structural components such as trophic interactions and food web dynamics are included in these interests along with studies of energy flux and biogeochemical cycling.

My current research emphasizes restoration of wetland ecosystems with emphasis on recovery of plant, invertebrates, reptile, amphibian, and fish communities following restoration of the hydrologic regime on drained areas of hydric soils. The response of the stream or marsh to perturbations such as input of pollutants or changes in land use are valuable methods for studying ecosystem dynamics, and I have conducted several studies of this type. I also am interested in tropical ecology and am currently working on plans to develop a research program on recovery of dry forests in Puerto Rico with Dr. P. Murphy in Botany and Plant Pathology.


Selected Publications

Burton, T.M. and J.W. Allan. 1986. Influence of pH, aluminum and organic matter on stream invertebrates. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 43:1285-89.

Ulrich, K.E. and T.M. Burton. 1988. An experimental comparison of the nutrient uptake patterns of Typha latifolia, Typha angustifolia, Sparganium eurycarpum, and Phragmites australis. Aq. Bot. 32:129-139.

Burton, T.M., M.P. Oemke and J.M. Molloy. 1991. Contrasting effects of nitrogen and phosphorus additions on epilithic algae in a hardwater and a softwater stream in northern Michigan. Verh. Internat. Verein. Limnol. 24:1644-1653.

Burton, T.M. and K.G. Sivaramakrishnan. 1993. Composition of the insect community in the streams of Silent Valley National Park in Southern India. Tropical Ecology 34(1):1-16.

Burton, T.M., M.P. Oemke and J.M. Molloy. 1994. Effects of grazing by the Trichopteran grazer, Glossosoma nigrior, on diatom community composition in the Ford River, Michigan. Proc. 11th Ann. Mtg. on Living and Fossil Diatoms (1990). Mem. Calif. Acad. Sci. In press.

Brady, V.J. and T.M. Burton. 1994. The microcrustacean community of a Saginaw Bay coastal emergent march. Proc. Lake Huron Basin Symposium, Sept. 1993. J. Aquatic Ecosystem Health. In press.

Eggert, S.L. and T.M. Burton. 1994. A comparison of Acroneuria lycorias (Phecoptera) in northern Michigan hard and soft water streams. Freshwater Biology. In press.