CS29 Phytoplankton & Primary Production
Date: Monday, June 10, 2002
Time: 2:00:00 PM
Location: Oak Bay
 
PratherCM, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada, cprather@ualberta.ca
Bayley, S, E, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada, sbayley@ualberta.ca
 
EFFECTS OF LANDSCAPE ON SHALLOW LAKES IN THE WESTERN BOREAL FOREST: PHYTOPLANKTON, SUBMERSED AQUATIC VEGETATION (SAV), AND WATER QUALITY
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Our research is part of a baseline study to assess effects of landscape and natural disturbance on western boreal wetlands considered important for waterfowl production. The emergent wetland complexes in northern Alberta contain shallow (< 2m) lakes with naturally high concentrations of TP in surface waters. The theory of alternative stable states asserts that shallow lakes (with intermediate to high loadings of TP) can be characterized either by abundant SAV and clear water or by dense phytoplankton blooms and turbid water. Detailed work last summer (2001) and ongoing this summer (2002) has revealed lakes in four distinct categories following this theory: 1) high algal and low SAV abundance [Aphanizomenon, Ceratium]; 2) high SAV and low algal abundance [Chara, Myriophyllum, Ceratophyllum]; 3) high algae and high SAV [Anabaena, Coelosphaerium with Myriophyllum, Potamogeton]; 4) low algae and low SAV [Chrsyosphytes and Cryptophytes with Sagitarria and Nuphar]. These alternative states may be controlled by nutrients (bottom-up) or may be controlled by predatory fish, invertebrates or climatic events (top-down) and are currently being investigated as part of our collaborative research group.