What is it about?

To assess the impact of the glacial flour on the production of a sockeye salmon nursery lakes, we combined data from modern limnological surveys and historical data retrieved from the sediments of the lake. The modern data indicate that the euphotic zone is 14 m shallower and the cladoceran density and biomass are significantly lower in Seton Lake in comparison with Anderson Lake. The paleo-data indicate that following the novel input of glacial flour, the sedimentary fluxes of cladoceran and diatom declined 2- to 10-fold in Seton Lake and remained low thereafter. Together, our data support declines in primary and secondary producers likely due to changes in light penetration and (or) other indirect influence.

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Why is it important?

Ongoing increasing rate of glacier retreat and turbid glacial runoff can have a strong influence on freshwater ecosystems. Our study provides insights into the impact of turbid meltwater on the biological production of downstream lakes with potential impact on the populations that depends on these ecosystems (i.e. Sockeye Salmon).

Perspectives

I loved to be part of this multidisciplinary, multi-stakeholder research project which involved experts from other universities and research groups, governmental departments, consulting company, and First Nations. For this projects, I have been in close contact with the stakeholders, and have learned how to effectively communicate science to both professional and non-scientific groups.

Cécilia Barouillet
Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement

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This page is a summary of: Influence of glacial flour on the primary and secondary production of sockeye salmon nursery lakes: a comparative modern and paleolimnological study, Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, December 2019, Canadian Science Publishing, DOI: 10.1139/cjfas-2018-0372.
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