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Water Quality of Ontario Agricultural Streams: Defining Nutrient Concentrations 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 performance standards   that establish nutrient concentrations to protect 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 nutrient   concentrations in southern Ontario streams, resulting in 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.    Key Words: Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Nearshore, Watershed,   Benthification, run off, Eutrophication, Farming, Agriculture,   Nutrients, loadings, fertilizer, HAB, Algal blooms

Status
In progress
Type
Project
Start Date
End Date
Researchers
Patricia ChambersPrincipal Investigator
Associated with 3 projects
Agencies

Funding 13 projects for a total of $134,000.00

Funding 3 projects for a total of $1.00
Scope of Study
Field Investigation
Laboratory Investigation
Literature / Existing Data
Scale of Phenomena
Biochemical
Ecosystem
Physical/Chemical
Impact of Pollutants
Nutrients, Including Phosphorus
Processes
Natural Ecological Processes
Land Use and Habitat
Shoreline
Uplands
Wetlands
Lake Basin Connecting Channels
Lake Erie
Lake Huron
Lake Ontario
Lake St. Clair
Lake Superior
State Province
Ontario
Annex Numbers
Control of Phosphorus
Research & Development
Annex 17
Cause-effect inter-relationships of productivity and ecotoxicity
Mass transfer of pollutants between GL Basin Ecosystem components
General
Annex
  • Annex Numbers
    Annex Numbers
    Control of Phosphorus
    Research & Development
  • Annex 17
    Annex 17
    Cause-effect inter-relationships of productivity and ecotoxicity
    Mass transfer of pollutants between GL Basin Ecosystem components

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