Walker Lake is a large, terminal, saline lake in the Western Great Basin of the United States. Diversions have greatly reduced river inflow, which has lead to a decrease in lake volume by 75% since the 1880s. As a result there has been a concomitant increase in salinity levels and alteration to biotic community structure. This study provides a contemporary snapshot of the water quality, phytoplankton-zooplankton biomass, and the lake's food web structure. Water quality and zooplankton were sampled monthly (March to October 2007) from six locations at discrete depths. Nutrient concentrations were highly variable (ammonium levels - 0 to 30 ppb, nitrate - 0 to 12 ppb, total and dissolved phosphorus - 500 to 1000 ppb, and soluble reactive phosphorus - 400 to 600 ppb). The food web structure determined from stable isotope measurements (carbon and nitrogen) and stomach contents suggests benthic resources contributed greatly to fisheries energetics.
Umek, John; Chandra, Sudeep; and Brownstein, Jacquie
"Limnology and food web structure of a large terminal ecosystem, Walker Lake (NV, USA),"
Natural Resources and Environmental Issues:
Vol. 15, Article 15.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/nrei/vol15/iss1/15