An experimental demonstration of trophic interactions affecting water quality of Rice Lake, Ontario (Canada)
- 1) Aquatic Science Section, Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Energy, c/o MNR, L. Simcoe FAU, R. R. # 2, LOE 1RO, Sutton West, Ontario, Canada
Eight cylindrical enclosures (3 m diameter, 2.7 m long, V = 20m3) were installed in eutrophic Rice Lake (Ontario, Canada) in late spring of 1987. Fish (yearling yellow perch (Perca flavescens) and macrophytes (Potamogeton crispus) presence and absence were set at the beginning of the experiment to yield four combinations of duplicate treatments. The purpose of the experiment was to determine if the phytoplankton, zooplankton, macrophytes and fish species resident in the lake interact to influence water quality (major ions, phosphorus, algal densities and water clarity). The presence of fish was associated with: (1) decreased biomass of total zooplankton, (2) decreased number of species in the zooplankton, (3) decreased average size of several zooplankton taxa, (4) higher total phosphorus concentrations, (5) higher phytoplankton and chlorophyll a concentrations, (6) lower water clarity, (7) lower potassium levels during macrophyte die-back, (8) lower pH and higher conductivity in the presence of macrophytes. Biomass of large Daphnia species (but not total zooplankton) was highly correlated with the algal response (r 2 = 0.995) and was associated with reduced biomass of several algal taxa including some large forms (Mougeotia, Oedogonium) and several colonial blue-green algae. However, no significant control of late summer growth of the bloom-forming blue-green alga Anabaena planctonica Brun. was achieved by the Daphnia presence-fish absence treatment. Release of phosphorus to the water column during the die-back of P. crispus was not an important phenomenon.
- 1 - sciences appliquees, technologies et medecines
- 2 - sciences biologiques et medicales
- 3 - sciences biologiques fondamentales et appliquees. psychologie