Inland Waters, Vol 2, No 2 (2012)

Patterns in the limnology of lakes and ponds across multiple local and regional environmental gradients in the eastern Canadian Arctic

Andrew S Medeiros, Raymond G Biastoch, Christopher E Luszczek, Xiaowa A Wang, Derek C.G. Muir, Roberto Quinlan
Pages: 59-76


This study examined water chemistry from 113 lakes and ponds across the eastern Canadian Arctic to address the lack of limnological data and understanding of relationships among limnological variables across key local and regional gradients. Environmental and geochemical variables were compared at both the local and regional scale with the use of multivariate analysis. A principal components analysis indicated that there was a primary gradient in temperature, nutrients, and conductivity between sampled regions. In addition, there were significant regional differences observed for nutrients total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorus (TP), chlorophyll a, and dissolved major ions determined via canonical variates analysis. Across all regions TN:TP ratios were high, indicating phosphorus limitation, and mid-summer surface water temperature was strongly correlated to dissolved nitrogen concentrations. Local landscape characteristics were also examined, with multiple samples from lakes of varying elevations, surface area, and depth within the same area. Shallow pond systems (<2 m depth) were found to have significantly higher variability for major ions, especially in areas with influences from local geology. Likewise, the concentration of nutrients and ions in ponds were strongly correlated to concentrations of dissolved organic carbon, likely indicating the influence of watershed inputs and resuspended sediments on the limnology of ponds. Although there was higher regional variation in the limnology of pond systems than lakes, the general patterns within each region were similar.
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