Since the invasion of dreissenid mussels, Lake Erie has undergone profound changes in water and sediment quality, particularly in the nearshore zone. While much is known about the biophysical and chemical dynamics of the lake, few studies have simultaneously measured the nutrient composition of particulate matter in the lake, its tributary inflows, and the lake outflow. This research evaluates the chemical composition [d13C and d15N, POC and PON, TPP, particulate P forms (NAIP, AP, OP)*] and size distribution of particulate matter in the eastern basin of Lake Erie, three tributary inflows and the lake outflow from May to October 2 2. The isotope data show three distinct groupings: inflows (d13C = -3 .35?, d15N = 9.27?); nearshore sites close to the lake outflow (-25.41?, 3.43?); and nearshore sites off of Peacock Point, offshore sites, and the lake outflow (24.87?, 6.17?). The highest POC and PON concentrations were measured at the inflows (POC = 3457 µg/L, PON = 662 µg/L) and the lowest in the lake offshore (192 µg/L, 3 µg/L) and outflow (175 µg/L, 33 µg/L). The lowest TPP concentrations were measured in the lake nearshore (762 ± 128 mg/kg) and the highest at the outflow (1365 ± 353 mg/kg). The Lake Erie outflow also had the largest NAIP fraction (55%) of TPP. Analysis of the size distribution data is in progress. The data reflect differences in both the source of particulate matter and biological processing of particulate matter within the lake environment. * d13C ? carbon stable isotope abundance, d15N ? nitrogen stable isotope abundance, POC ? particulate organic carbon concentration, PON ? particulate organic nitrogen concentration, TPP ? total particulate phosphorus concentration, particulate P ? particulate phosphorus, NAIP ? non-apatite inorganic phosphorus concentration, AP ? apatite phosphorus concentration, OP ? organic phosphorus concentration, D5 ? median particle diameter.
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