Pelagic zonation of water quality and phytoplankton in the Great Lakes

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12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Analysis of aquatic ecosystem data collected from large water bodies must consider spatial variations. A suite of pelagic survey stations exists for the Laurentian Great Lakes, but little is known about their redundancy. We present a strategy to delineate the lakes into zones based on water quality and phytoplankton biovolume. Water samples were collected from 72 sites in two seasons (spring and summer) from 2007 to 2010 in all five lakes. Integrated samples were analyzed for phytoplankton biovolume and nine water quality parameters. We conducted cluster analysis, principal components analysis and non-metric multidimensional scaling methods for water quality and phytoplankton taxon-specific biovolume for the Great Lakes basin and for each lake separately. There were significant lake-to-lake differences, and based on lake-specific analyses, Lake Superior, Lake Michigan and Lake Erie were each divided into three zones; Lake Huron and Lake Ontario were each grouped into two zones. The zones identified by water quality and phytoplankton provide an understanding of spatial distributions for evaluating monitoring data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)127-140
Number of pages14
JournalLimnology
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements We thank Kitty Kennedy, Amy Kireta, Lisa Estepp and the Research Vessel Lake Guardian field crews for their work collecting phytoplankton samples and Michael Agbeti for supporting analyses of phytoplankton samples. This research was supported by a Grant to E. Reavie from the US Environmental Protection Agency under Cooperative Agreement GL-00E23101-2. This document has not been subjected to the EPA’s required peer and policy review and therefore does not necessarily reflect the view of the Agency, and no official endorsement should be inferred. This is contribution number 581 of the Center for Water and the Environment, Natural Resources Research Institute, University of Minnesota Duluth.

Funding Information:
We thank Kitty Kennedy, Amy Kireta, Lisa Estepp and the Research Vessel Lake Guardian field crews for their work collecting phytoplankton samples and Michael Agbeti for supporting analyses of phytoplankton samples. This research was supported by a Grant to E. Reavie from the US Environmental Protection Agency under Cooperative Agreement GL-00E23101-2. This document has not been subjected to the EPA’s required peer and policy review and therefore does not necessarily reflect the view of the Agency, and no official endorsement should be inferred. This is contribution number 581 of the Center for Water and the Environment, Natural Resources Research Institute, University of Minnesota Duluth. Handling Editor: Toshiya Katano. The authors have no financial relationship with the organizations that sponsored the research. The authors have full control of all primary data and agree to allow the journal to review the data if requested.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, The Japanese Society of Limnology.

Keywords

  • Great Lakes
  • Multivariate analysis
  • Pelagic segmentation
  • Phytoplankton
  • Water quality

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