TITLE

DECLINING WATER QUALITY IN WESTERN LAKE ERIE: CORRELATIONS BETWEEN SOLUBLE REACTIVE PHOSPHORUS (SRP) LOADING AND PHYTOPLANKTON BIOMASS

AUTHOR(S)
Kane, Douglas D.; Conroy, Joseph D.; Richards, R. Peter; Baker, David B.; Culver, David A.
PUB. DATE
March 2008
SOURCE
Ohio Journal of Science;Mar2008, Vol. 108 Issue 1, pA-8
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Many hypotheses have been advanced to explain recurrent algal blooms in the western basin of Lake Erie, including abiotic (e.g., total phosphorus load) and biotic (e.g., dreissenid mussel excretion) explanations. We used two long-term (10 + year) datasets to test whether total phytoplankton biomass and cyanobacterial biomass correlated with soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP) loading from agriculturally-influenced tributaries (Maumee and Sandusky rivers) to the western basin of Lake Erie. We constructed linear regression models to determine if total phytoplankton biomass (and cyanobacterial biomass, individually) increased with recent SRP-load increases. Both total phytoplankton and cyanobacterial seasonal (May-October) average (arithmetic mean) wet-weight biomasses (mg L1) significantly increased with increased water-year total SRP load (metric tons = Mg) for the Maumee River (both total phytoplankton and cyanobacteria biomass vs. SRP load: P = 0.008, R² = 0.56) and the sum of SRP load for the Maumee and Sandusky rivers (total phytoplankton biomass vs. SRP load; P = 0.007, R² = 0.57; cyanobacteria biomass vs. SRP load: P = 0.008, R² = 0.56), but not for the Sandusky River (P > 0.05). However, when using seasonal median total phytoplankton and cyanobacterial biomasses as response variables to remove the influence of bloom events and the Beale Ratio Estimator to account for missing SRP data, only the relationship between median cyanobacterial biomass and Beale-ratio estimated SRP load were significant (P < 0.05). In conclusion, recent increased western basin tributary SRP loads possibly contribute to increases in phytoplankton biomass and more frequent algal blooms, especially cyanobacteria, in the western basin of Lake Erie.
ACCESSION #
31745923

 

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