A BENTHIC INVERTEBRATE COMMUNITY ASSESSMENT FOR LAKE OF THE WOODS.
Lake of the Woods (LOW) is a large, international lake designated as impaired by the State of Minnesota due to excess nutrients and nuisance algal blooms. Concerns regarding eutrophication and future mining impacts prompted the need for management tools to help define areas of ecosystem impairment and monitor future changes. The goal of this study was to assess areas of potential anthropogenic impacts in LOW using a benthic macro-invertebrate reference condition approach model and identify factors correlating with these impacts. We also sought to provide baseline information prior to the initiation of increased mining activity in the basin. A Canadian Aquatic Biomonitoring Network (CABIN) reference model was developed for LOW to compare the benthic community structure at a number of potentially stressed or impaired sites. The benthic community at some locations was found to be divergent from reference sites. As expected, benthic invertebrate diversity appeared to be most affected at sites that were deep, thermally stratified and high in nutrients thus making them prone to hypoxia. Benthic diversity was also negatively associated with higher concentrations of metals such as lead and arsenic.
Timothy Pascoe (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Environment and Climate Change Canada, Timothy.Pascoe@canada.ca;
Tana McDaniel (Primary Presenter/Author), Environment and Climate Change Canada, Tana.McDaniel@canada.ca;