Continued Decline in Lake Erie Water Quality

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CONTINUED DECLINE IN LAKE ERIE WATER QUALITY: INCREASING CYANOBACTERIAL BIOMASSES OVER TIME (1996-2010).
Presented at the Ohio Academy of Sciences, 2012.

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Continued Decline in Lake Erie Water Quality

  1. 1. CONTINUED DECLINE IN LAKE ERIE WATER QUALITY: INCREASING CYANOBACTERIALBIOMASSES OVER TIME (1996-2010) Douglas D. Kane Defiance College Joseph D. Conroy Division of Wildlife Ohio Department of Natural Resources David A. Culver The Ohio State University R. Peter Richards, David B. Baker Heidelberg University
  2. 2. The Overarching Issue Lake Erie is impaired due to excessive loadings of sediment and nutrients. Long-term water quality monitoring has identified the Maumee River as being the largest single contributor of non- point source pollution to the lake.From- WLEB Partnership Website
  3. 3. Recent Lake Erie Re-Eutrophication TRENDS (1970’s- 2000’s) – Total Phosphorus Loading – Phytoplankton Biomass- WB – Cyanobacterial Biomass- WB
  4. 4. Recent Lake Erie Re-Eutrophication 30 6 WB Total PP Wet Biomass (g m )Ext. Total P Loading (kilotonnes) -3 25 5 20 4 15 3 10 2 5 1 0 0 1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 Year
  5. 5. Recent Lake Erie Re-Eutrophication 30 6 WB Total PP Wet Biomass (g m )Ext. Total P Loading (kilotonnes) -3 25 5 20 4 15 3 10 2 5 1 0 0 1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 Year
  6. 6. Recent Lake Erie Re-Eutrophication 30 6 WB Total PP Wet Biomass (g m )Ext. Total P Loading (kilotonnes) -3 25 5 20 4 15 3 10 2 5 1 0 0 1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 Year
  7. 7. Recent Lake Erie Re-Eutrophication 30 6 WB Total PP Wet Biomass (g m )Ext. Total P Loading (kilotonnes) -3 25 5 20 4 15 3 10 2 5 1 0 0 1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 Year
  8. 8. Recent Lake Erie Re-Eutrophication 30 6 WB Total PP Wet Biomass (g m )Ext. Total P Loading (kilotonnes) -3 25 5 20 4 15 3 10 2 5 1 0 0 1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 Year
  9. 9. Recent Lake Erie Re-Eutrophication 30 6 WB Total PP Wet Biomass (g m )Ext. Total P Loading (kilotonnes) -3 25 5 20 4 15 3 10 2 5 1 0 0 1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 Year
  10. 10. Recent Lake Erie Re-Eutrophication 30 6 WB Total PP Wet Biomass (g m )Ext. Total P Loading (kilotonnes) -3 25 5 20 4 15 3 10 2 5 1 0 0 1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 Year
  11. 11. Recent Lake Erie Re-Eutrophication 30 6 WB Total PP Wet Biomass (g m )Ext. Total P Loading (kilotonnes) -3 25 5 20 4 15 3 10 2 5 1 0 0 1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 Year
  12. 12. Lake Erie PP Trends: Western Basin 7Total PP Biomass (mg L-1) 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 Year
  13. 13. FWMC vs. DRP
  14. 14. Observations Total Phosphorus Loading not increasing, but – Phytoplankton, Cyanobacterial blooms – Soluble Reactive Phosphorus Loading – And, » Dreissenid mussels now in the system » Mayflies have returned » Changing climate (i.e. more large storm events, warmer winters etc.)
  15. 15. Hypothesis Soluble Reactive Phosphorus Loading LEADS TO Phytoplankton, Cyanobacterial blooms
  16. 16. Methods SRP Load Determinations: NCWQR, HU Phytoplankton Biomass Determinations: LL, OSU Regression Analysis: – Total PP/ Cyanobacterial Biomass vs. SRP – Cyanobacterial Biomass vs. Time
  17. 17. Results- Median Cyanobacterial Biomass vs.Corrected SRP Load (1996-2006) 100 P < 0.001 WB Cyano (wet mg L ) -1 90 r2 = 0.80 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 0 250 500 750 1000 Maumee R. SRP-load (metric tonnes)
  18. 18. Results- Seasonal Average Biomass vs. Uncorrected SRP Load (1996-2006) 70WB Total PP (wet mg L )-1 60 P = 0.008 50 r2 = 0.56 40 30 20 10 0 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 70 Maumee R. SRP-load (metric tonnes) WB Cyano (wet mg L ) P = 0.008 -1 60 r2 = 0.56 50 40 30 20 10 0 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 Maumee R. SRP-load (metric tonnes)
  19. 19. Results- Seasonal Average Biomass vs. Uncorrected SRP Load (1996-2006) 70WB Total PP (wet mg L )-1 60 P = 0.007 50 r2 = 0.57 40 30 20 10 0 0 100 200 300 400 500 600600 700 100 200 300 400 500 700 800 70 Maumee R. SRP-load (metric tonnes) Maumee + Sandusky R. SRP-load WB Cyano (wet mg L ) P = 0.008 -1 60 50 r2 = 0.56 40 30 20 10 0 0 100 200 300 400 500 600600 700 100 200 300 400 500 700 800 Maumee + Sandusky R. SRP-load Maumee R. SRP-load (metric tonnes)
  20. 20. Results- Seasonal Average Biomass (no >95% values)vs.Time (1996-2011) 10WB Cyano (wet mg L-1) P = 0.006 8 r2 = 0.46 6 4 2 0 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 P = 0.002 Year r2 = 0.55
  21. 21. Conclusions September 2011 Western Lake Erie Waterkeeper Association NASA October 2011 NASA
  22. 22. Reasons for SRP Increase?? DWWTP (Detroit Wastewater Treatment Plant) CSOs (Combined Sewer Overflows) CAFOs (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations) UFOs (Unidentified Fertilizing Objects) – Timing of Fertilizer Application – Rate “ “ – Type “ “ – Amount “ “ Exurbanization Septic Systems Saturated Filter Strips Climate Change All of These None of These
  23. 23. Acknowledgements Dave Dolan- UWGB- Total Phosphorus Loading Data Limnology Laboratory Personnel- OSU National Center for Water Quality Research Personnel- HU

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