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Water Quality of Ontario agricultural streams: defining nutrientconcentrations to prevent eutrophication.

"inputs of nutrients (phosphorus, P, and nitrogen, N) to fresh waters  can cause excessive aquatic plant growth, depletion of oxygen, and  deleterious changes in abundance and diversity of aquatic  invertebrates and fish.  As part of a National Agri-Environmental  Standards Initiative, the Government of Canada committed to  development of non-regulatory environmental ecological condition of  agricultural streams.  Analysis of data from long-term provincial  monitoring programs and experimental studies in networks of 1 -15  streams showed that agricultural land use increased sestonic and  benthic algal abundance, loss of sensitive benthic macroinvertebrate  taxa, and an increase in benthic diatom taxa indicative of  eutrophication.  Calculation of provisional standards for total P or  total N using three empirical methods followed by cross-calibration of  these chemical standards with information on biological condition  resulted in recommendations for total P and total N standards for  agricultural streams in southern Ontario.  These recommended standards  should result in good ecological condition with respect to benthic  algal abundance, benthic diatom composition and benthic  macroinvertebrate composition.  Research is continuing to determine  whether these standards are protective of downstream receiving waters  and to evaluate interactions of nutrients with other stressors (e.g.,  suspended sediments, pesticides), specifically their combined effects  on aquatic food webs.  Note: this project is part of a larger national  study to determine the impacts of agricultural activities on streams  across Canada and to define nutrient concentrations to protect aquatic  life".

In progress
Start Date
End Date
Patricia ChambersPrincipal Investigator
Associated with 3 projects

Funding 13 projects for a total of $134,000.00

Funding 3 projects for a total of $1.00
Scope of Study
Field Investigation
Scale of Phenomena
Impact of Pollutants
Nutrients, Including Phosphorus

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