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Biomonitoring prospects for diatoms and paleolimnology in the Western Great lakes National parks

With any environmental monitoring program it is important to have a   basic understanding of natural fluctuations within the system.    Reliable long-term data sets, on the order of 3  - 5  years, are   generally not available for most regions of the country.  Through   the use of paleolimnological techniques and quantitative   environmental reconstruction, we can estimate past conditions and   natural variability, identify changes, and determine rates of change   and recovery.  This type of information allows managers and   researchers to put present environmental stresses into perspective   with the natural variability of the system.  Paleolimnology can also   be used to determine response to and recovery from short-term   disturbances.  It is particularly important in areas of low impact   to have background information on natural variations.  Such   information makes it possible to identify early signs of unusual   disturbance and allows for early action toward remediation or   restoration.    In Great Lakes Network (GLKN) park units, climate change,   environmental contaminants, exotics, and land and resource uses   including shoreline and urban development, recreation, water level   management, logging, and agriculture have raised concerns about the   state of the parks' resources and how to best manage them in a   future certain to bring change.  This project will outline a   strategy to integrate the use of paleolimnological techniques and   diatom analysis in an inventory and monitoring framework.  Results   will provide a management foundation by determining the natural   variability or reference condition of national park lakes and by   reconstructing a detailed history of lake response to ecological   changes that have occurred in and around the lakes during the last   15  years.  Because lake-sediment records integrate across both   spatial and temporal scales, research results can be further used as   a biomonitoring strategy by revisiting lakes on regular intervals (3-  5 years) to quantify modern environmental conditions relative to   historical conditions, to detect early ecological change and recent   trends, and to evaluate success of management actions.    (diatom); (diatoms); (monitoring); (biomonitoring); (limnology);   (paleolimnology)

In progress
Start Date
End Date
Scope of Study
Field Investigation
Laboratory Investigation
Scale of Phenomena
Lake Basin Connecting Channels
Lake Superior
State Province
Purpose of Project
Trend Assessment
Resource Being Monitored
Hydrologic / Hydrometric / Climatic
Plankton / Microorganisms
Beneficial Use Impairment Assessments
Compliance with Environmental Quality Objectives
Degradation of Phytoplankton or Zooplankton Populations
Eutrophication or Undesirable Algae
Loss of Fish and Wildlife Habitat
Annex Numbers
Surveillance and Monitoring

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