Gary Lamberti

Stream and Wetland Ecology

Gary A. Lamberti

e-mail labpage
Professor and Chair
Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley
Postdoctoral, Oregon State University

The overall goal of my research program is to better understand the structure and function of freshwater ecosystems on a changing planet. Streams, rivers, and wetlands constitute some of the most physically and biologically dynamic components of the landscape. Along with being biodiversity hotspots, these ecosystems harbor some of the most essential elements for human existence, including water for consumption and industry, food in fisheries, nutrient and contaminant filtration, avenues for transportation, and recreational opportunities. Fish and wildlife use rivers and wetlands as nursery areas, corridors for migration, and foraging habitats. Many activities that occur on land, both natural and human-related, eventually are manifest in aquatic ecosystems. For example, watershed land-use change can alter hydrology, water chemistry, and organic matter inputs to streams, thereby impacting stream biota and human use.  Wetland loss and alteration can negate the beneficial roles of wetlands for biological productivity and water quality improvement. Channelization and damming of rivers serves to separate these ecosystems from their integral watersheds and riparian wetlands. Introductions of exotic species to freshwater ecosystems, including fish, plants, and invertebrates, have had major impacts on native organisms and natural food webs. In addition, global drivers, such as climate change, threaten the integrity of all freshwater ecosystems.

Major research projects in my laboratory address: 1) factors that regulate nutrient cycling in streams, such as the decomposition of salmon in nutrient-poor streams of Alaska and the processing of organic carbon, 2) the ecological integrity of coastal wetlands in the Great Lakes and Alaska under climate change, 3) the biological transport of contaminants by anadromous fishes, 4) the historical ecology of aquatic ecosystems in the Great Lakes watershed, and 5) the role of ecosystem restoration in modifying the impacts of human disturbance on streams and wetlands. My research approach combines laboratory and field studies to investigate important ecological processes. Field observations serve to stimulate ecological questions, which are then explored with field experiments or in aquatic mesocosms. I and my students conduct research in streams, rivers, and wetlands of two major biomes — the Laurentian Great Lakes basin and the coniferous forests of the Pacific Northwest. These systems provide important contrasts with respect to geology, hydrology, chemistry, biota, and other watershed conditions that make them suitable for studying important ecological relationships.

Lamberti figure

Small stream that is highly influenced by riparian forest, as a target for restoration of other degraded streams

lamberti image

Spawning run of Pacific salmon in an Alaskan stream, illustrating the massive amount of marine-derived nutrients that can be transported to freshwater








Great Lakes coastal wetland, with sampling crew measuring physical, chemical, and biological attributes of the wetland for a database of over 1,000 wetlands.








Selected Publications:


Hauer, F.R., and G.A. Lamberti (editors). 2006. Methods in Stream Ecology, Second Edition. Elsevier, Amsterdam.

Journal Papers (last 10 years only)


Levi, P.S., J.L. Tank, J. Rüegg, D.J. Janetski, S.D. Tiegs, D.T. Chaloner, and G.A. Lamberti. 2013. Whole-stream metabolism response to spawning Pacific salmon in their native and introduced ranges. Ecosystems 16:269-283. DOI 10.1007/s10021-012-9613-4

Levi, P.S., J.L. Tank, S.D. Tiegs, D.T. Chaloner, and G.A. Lamberti. 2013. Biogeochemical transformation of a nutrient subsidy: salmon, streams, and nitrification. Biogeochemistry 113:643-655.  DOI 10.1007/s10533-012-9794-0

Shirey, P.A., B.N. Kunycky, D.T. Chaloner, M.A. Brueseke, and G.A. Lamberti. 2013. Commercial trade of federally listed threatened and endangered plants in the United States.  Conservation Letters 6:300-316. DOI: 10.1111/conl.12031

Reisinger, A.J., D.T. Chaloner, J. Rüegg, S.D. Tiegs, and G.A. Lamberti. 2013.  Effects of Pacific salmon spawners on the isotopic composition of biota differ across Southeast Alaska streams.  Freshwater Biology, in press

Cooper, M.J., G.A. Lamberti, and D.G. Uzarski. 2013. Spatial and temporal trends in invertebrate communities of Great Lakes coastal wetlands, with emphasis on Saginaw Bay of Lake Huron. Journal of Great Lakes Research, in press.


Hoellein, T.J., J.L. Tank, S.A. Entrekin, E.J. Rosi-Marshall, M.L. Stephen, and G.A. Lamberti. 2012. Effects of a benthic habitat restoration on nutrient uptake and ecosystem metabolism in three headwater streams.  River Research and Applications 28:1451–1461. DOI: 10.1002/rra.1547

Levi, P.S., J.L. Tank, S.D. Tiegs, J. Rüegg, D.T. Chaloner, and G.A. Lamberti. In press. Does timber harvest influence the dynamics of marine-derived nutrients in Southeast Alaska streams? A reply to Jackson and Martin.  Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 69:1898-1901

Janetski, D.J., D.T. Chaloner, A.H. Moerke, R.R. Rediske, J.P. O’Keefe, and G.A. Lamberti. 2012.  Resident fishes display elevated organic pollutants in salmon spawning streams of the Great Lakes.  Environmental Science & Technology 46:8035-8043 DOI: 10.1021/es301864k

Rüegg, J., D.T. Chaloner, P.S. Levi, J.L. Tank, S.D. Tiegs, and G.A. Lamberti. 2012.  Environmental variability and the ecological effects of spawning Pacific salmon on stream biofilm.  Freshwater Biology 57:129-142. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2427.2011.02703.x


Collins, S.F., A.H. Moerke, D.T. Chaloner, D.J. Janetski, and G.A. Lamberti. 2011. Response of dissolved nutrients and periphyton to spawning Pacific salmon in three northern Michigan streams. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 30:831-839

Levi, P.S., J.L. Tank, S.D. Tiegs, J. Rüegg, D.T. Chaloner, and G.A. Lamberti. 2011. Does timber harvest influence the dynamics of marine-derived nutrients in Southeast Alaska streams? Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 68:1316–1329

Kulacki, K.J., D.T. Chaloner, J.H. Larson, D.M. Costello, M.A. Evans-White, K.M. Docherty, R.J. Bernot, M.A. Brueseke, C.F. Kulpa Jr., and G.A. Lamberti. 2011. Proactive aquatic ecotoxicological assessment of room-temperature ionic liquids. Current Organic Chemistry 15: 1918-1927

Resh, V.H., M. Hannaford, J.K. Jackson, G.A. Lamberti, and P.K. Mendez. 2011. The biology of the limnephilid caddisfly Dicosmoescus gilvipes (Hagen) in Northern California and Oregon (USA) streams.  Zoosymposia 5:413–419

Tiegs, S.D., P.S. Levi, J. Rüegg, D.T. Chaloner, J.L. Tank, and G.A. Lamberti. 2011. Ecological effects of live salmon exceed those of carcasses during an annual spawning migration.  Ecosystems 14:598-614

Campbell, E.Y., M. E. Benbow, S. D. Tiegs, J. P. Hudson, G. A. Lamberti, and R. W. Merritt. 2011. Timber harvest intensifies spawning-salmon disturbance of macroinvertebrates in Southeast Alaska streams.  Journal of the North American Benthological Society: 30:49-59

Shirey, P.A., and G.A. Lamberti. 2011. Regulate trade in rare plants.  Nature 469: 465-467.

Rüegg, J., S.D. Tiegs, D.T. Chaloner, P.S. Levi, J.L. Tank, and G.A. Lamberti. 2011. Salmon subsidies alleviate nutrient limitation of benthic biofilms in Southeast Alaska streams.  Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 68:277-287.

Janetski, D.J., A. H. Moerke, D.T. Chaloner, and G.A. Lamberti. 2011. Spawning salmon increase brook trout movements in a Lake Michigan tributary. Ecology of Freshwater Fish: 20: 209-219. DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0633.2010.00479.x

Costello, D.M., S.D. Tiegs, and G.A. Lamberti. 2011. Do non-native earthworms in Southeast Alaska use streams as invasional corridors in watersheds harvested for timber?  Biological Invasions 13:177-187. DOI: 10.1007/s10530-010-9800-1


Sena, D.W., K.J. Kulacki, D.T. Chaloner, and G.A. Lamberti. 2010. The role of the cell wall in the susceptibility of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii to ionic liquids. Green Chemistry 12: 1066-1071.

Shirey, P.D., and G.A. Lamberti. 2010. Assisted colonization under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.  Conservation Letters 3:45-52. DOI: 10.1111/j.1755-263X.2009.00083.x. 

Bobeldyk, A.M. and G.A. Lamberti.  2010.  Stream food web responses to a large omnivorous invader, Orconectes rusticus (Decapoda, Cambaridae).  Crustaceana 83: 641-657.

Lamberti, G.A., D.T. Chaloner, and A.E. Hershey. 2010. Linkages among aquatic ecosystems.  Journal of the North American Benthological Society 29: 245-263.


Costello, D.M., and G.A. Lamberti. 2009. Biological and physical effects of non-native earthworms on nitrogen cycling in riparian soils. Soil Biology & Biochemistry 41: 2230-2235.

Tiegs, S.D., E.Y. Campbell, P.S. Levi, J. Rüegg, M.E. Benbow, D.T. Chaloner, R.W. Merritt, J.L. Tank and G.A. Lamberti. 2009. Separating physical disturbance and nutrient enrichment caused by Pacific salmon in stream ecosystems. Freshwater Biology 54: 1864-1875.

Entrekin, S.A., J.L. Tank, E.L. Rosi-Marshall, T.J. Hoellein, and G.A. Lamberti. 2009. Responses in macroinvertebrate secondary production to large wood addition in three Michigan streams. Freshwater Biology 54: 1741-1748.

Evans-White, M.A., and G.A. Lamberti. 2009. Direct and indirect effects of a potential aquatic contaminant on grazer-algae interactions. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 28:418-426.

Janetski, D.J., D.T. Chaloner, S.D. Tiegs, and G.A. Lamberti. 2009. Pacific salmon effects on stream ecosystems: a quantitative synthesis. Oecologia 159:583-395.

Costello, D.M., L.M. Brown, and G.A. Lamberti. 2009. Acute toxic effects of ionic liquids on zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) survival and feeding. Green Chemistry 11:548-553.


Johnston, C.A., B.A. Shmagin, P.C. Frost, C. Cherrier, J.H. Larson, G.A. Lamberti, and S.D. Bridgham. 2008. Wetland types and wetland maps differ in ability to predict dissolved organic carbon concentrations in streams. Science of the Total Environment 404: 326-334.

Cak, A. D., D.T. Chaloner, and G.A. Lamberti. 2008. Effects of spawning salmon on dissolved nutrients and epilithon in coupled stream-estuary systems of southeastern Alaska. Aquatic Sciences 70:169-178.

Bobeldyk, A.M. and G.A. Lamberti. 2008. A decade after invasion: Evaluating the continuing effects of rusty crayfish on a Michigan river. Journal of Great Lakes Research 34:265-275.

Entrekin, S.A., J.L. Tank, E.J. Rosi-Marshall, T.J. Hoellein, and G.A. Lamberti. 2008. Responses in organic matter accumulation and processing to an experimental wood addition in three headwater streams. Freshwater Biology 53:1642–1657.

Cordova, J.M., E.J. Rosi-Marshall, J.L. Tank, and G.A. Lamberti. 2008. Coarse particulate organic matter transport in low-gradient streams of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 27:760-771.

Costello, D.M., and G.A. Lamberti. 2008. Non-native earthworms in riparian soils increase nitrogen flux into adjacent aquatic ecosystems. Oecologia 158:499–510.

Kulacki, K.J., and G.A. Lamberti. 2008. Toxicity of imidazolium ionic liquids to freshwater algae. Green Chemistry 10:104-110.

Tiegs, S.D., D.T. Chaloner, P. Levi, J. Rueegg, J.L. Tank and G.A. Lamberti. 2008. Timber harvest transforms ecological roles of salmon in Southeast Alaska rainforest streams. Ecological Applications 18:4-11.

Bernot, R.J., and G.A. Lamberti. 2008. Indirect effects of a parasite on a benthic community: An experiment with trematodes, snails, and periphyton. Freshwater Biology 53:322-329.

Larson, J.H., P.C. Frost, and G.A. Lamberti. 2008. Variable toxicity of ionic liquids to Lemna minor and the influence of dissolved organic matter. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 27: 676-681.


Bauer, C.R., A.M. Bobeldyk, and G.A. Lamberti. 2007. Predicting habitat use and trophic interactions of Eurasian ruffe, round gobies, and zebra mussels in nearshore areas of the Great Lakes. Biological Invasions 9:667-678.

Larson, J.H., P.C. Frost, D.M. Lodge, and G.A. Lamberti. 2007. Photodegradation of dissolved organic matter in forested streams of the northern Great Lakes region. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 26:416-425.

Kulacki, K.J., D.T. Chaloner, D.M.Costello, K.M. Docherty, J.H. Larson, R.J. Bernot, M.A. Brueseke, C.F. Kulpa Jr., and G.A. Lamberti. 2007. Aquatic toxicity and biodegradation of ionic liquids: A synthesis. Chemistry Today 25(6 suppl.):32-36.

Entrekin , S.A. , E.J. Rosi-Marshall, J.L. Tank, Hoellein, T., and G.A. Lamberti. 2007. Macroinvertebrate secondary production in 3 forested streams of the upper Midwest, USA . Journal of the North American Benthological Society 26:472-490.

Hoellein, T.J., J.L. Tank, E.J. Rosi-Marshall, S.A. Entrekin, and G.A. Lamberti. 2007. Controls on spatial and temporal variation of nutrient uptake in three Michigan headwater streams. Limnology and Oceanography 52:1964-1977.

Yamamuro, A.M., and G.A. Lamberti. 2007. Influence of organic matter on invertebrate colonization of sand substrate in a northern Michigan stream. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 26:244-252.

Chaloner D.T., G.A. Lamberti, A.D. Cak, N.L. Blair, and R.T. Edwards. 2007. Inter-annual variation in responses of water chemistry and epilithon to Pacific salmon spawners in an Alaskan stream. Freshwater Biology 52:478-490.

Larson, J.H., P.C. Frost, Z. Zheng, C.A. Johnston, S.D. Bridgham, D.M. Lodge, and G.A. Lamberti. 2007. Effects of upstream lakes on dissolved organic matter in streams. Limnology and Oceanography 52:60-69.

Frost, P.C. , J.H. Larson, C.T. Cherrier, S.D. Bridgham, and G.A. Lamberti. 2007. Effects of dissolved organic matter and ultraviolet radiation on the accrual, stoichiometry, and algal taxonomy of stream periphyton. Freshwater Biology 52:319-330.

Cordova, J.M., E.J. Rosi-Marshall, A.M. Yamamuro, and G.A. Lamberti. 2007. Quantity, controls, and functions of large woody debris in Midwestern U.S.A. streams. River Research and Applications 23:21-33.


Fullerton , A.H., and G.A. Lamberti. 2006. A comparison of habitat use and habitat-specific feeding efficiency by Eurasian ruffe (Gymnocephalus cernuus) and yellow perch (Perca flavescens). Ecology of Freshwater Fish 15:1-9.

Frost, P.C., J.H. Larson, C.A. Johnston, K.C. Young, P.A. Maurice, G.A. Lamberti, D.M. Lodge, and S.E. Bridgham. 2006. Landscape predictors of stream dissolved organic matter concentration and physiochemistry in a Lake Superior river watershed. Aquatic Sciences 68:40-51.

Rosi-Marshall, E. J., A. H. Moerke, and G.A. Lamberti. 2006. Ecological responses to trout habitat rehabilitation in a northern Michigan stream. Environmental Management 38:99-107.

Moerke, A.H. and G.A. Lamberti. 2006. Scale-dependent influences on water quality, habitat, and fish communities in streams of the Kalamazoon River Basin, Michigan (USA). Aquatic Sciences 68:193-205.

Frost P.C., A. Mack, J.H. Larson , S.D. Bridgham, and G.A. Lamberti. 2006. Environmental controls of UV-B radiation in forested streams of northern Michigan. Photochemistry and Photobiology 82:781-786.

Evans-White, M.A., and G.A. Lamberti. 2006. Stoichiometry of consumer-driven nutrient recycling across nutrient regimes in streams. Ecology Letters 9:1186-1197.


Mitchell, N.L., and G.A. Lamberti. 2005. Responses in dissolved nutrients and epilithon abundance to spawning salmon in southeast Alaska streams. Limnology and Oceanography 50: 217-227

Bernot, R.J., M.A. Brueseke, M.A. Evans-White, and G.A. Lamberti. 2005. Acute and chronic toxicity of imidazolium-based ionic liquids on Daphnia magna. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 24:87-92.

Bernot, R.J., E.E. Kennedy, and G.A. Lamberti. 2005. Effects of ionic liquids on the survival, movement, and feeding behavior of the freshwater snail, Physa acuta. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 24:1759-1765.

Evans-White, M.A., and G.A. Lamberti. 2005. Grazer species effects on epilithon nutrient composition. Freshwater Biology 50:1853-1863.

Evans-White, M.A., R.S Stelzer and G.A. Lamberti. 2005. Taxonomic and regional patterns in benthic macroinvertebrate elemental composition in streams. Freshwater Biology 50:1786-1799.

Frost, P.C. J.H. Larson, L.E. Kinsman, G.A. Lamberti, and S.D. Bridgham. 2005. Attenuation of ultraviolet radiation in streams of northern Michigan. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 24: 246-255.

Bobeldyk, A.M., J.M. Bossenbroek, M.A. Evans-White, D.M. Lodge, and G.A. Lamberti. 2005. Secondary spread of zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) in coupled lake-stream systems. Ecoscience 12:339-346.


Moerke, A.H., and G.A. Lamberti. 2004. Restoring stream ecosystems: Lessons from a Midwestern state. Restoration Ecology 12: 327-334.

Chaloner, D.T., G.A. Lamberti, R.W. Merritt, N.L. Mitchell, P.H. Ostrom, and M.S. Wipfli. 2004. Variation in responses to spawning Pacific salmon among three southeastern Alaska streams. Freshwater Biology 49: 587-599.

Moerke, A.H., K.J. Gerard, J.A. Latimore, R.A. Hellenthal, and G.A. Lamberti. 2004. Restoration of an Indiana, USA, stream: Bridging the gap between basic and applied lotic ecology. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 23:647-660.


Tillman , D.C. , A.H. Moerke, C.L. Ziehl and G.A. Lamberti. 2003. Subsurface hydrology and degree of burial affect mass loss and invertebrate colonization of leaves in a woodland stream. Freshwater Biology 48:98-107 (Note: Featured in cover photograph for journal issue).

Moerke, A.H., and G.A. Lamberti. 2003. Responses in fish community structure to restoration of two Indiana streams. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 23:748-759.

Bauer, C.R., C.H. Kellogg , S.D. Bridgham, and G.A. Lamberti. 2003. Mycorrhizal colonization across hydrologic gradients in restored and reference freshwater wetlands. Wetlands 23:961-968.