pdf WL-5 Synopsis for Phytoplankton and Lake Level

Synopsis for Phytoplankton and Lake Level

Authors: R. Smith

Author Affiliation: LCWC

Journal: Unpublished Report; March 2017


The LCWC studies nutrients in the water, primarily phosphorus, and the density of free-floating algae, phytoplankton, to get an idea of what the season’s weed growth might be like. More nutrients means more weed growth. Less nutrients translates to less weed growth. The phytoplankton are also monitored because they also reflect the nutrients available that might trigger dense algae blooms in the water, turning it to pea soup as has long been a problem in Lake Erie. From 2013 to the end of 2015 we experienced a 37 inch rise in lake levels. An unprecedented lake rise for a two year period. To experience another three feet of water means that the nutrients in those channels and bays have essentially be diluted by about 30%. What effect does that amount of dilution have on the weed growth, phytoplankton growth and availability of nutrients? That is what the paper “ Phosphorus and phytoplankton dynamics in the Les Cheneaux Islands during a rapid rise in Lake Huron water level” 180416 adresses.