Event Title

Development of a Utah Lake Ecosystem Monitoring Plan: Food Web Ecology, Restoration and Conservation

Presenter Information

Kevin Landom

Location

ECC 303

Event Website

water.usu.edu/

Start Date

4-3-2012 11:00 AM

End Date

4-3-2012 11:20 AM

Description

In order to provide data that reflects changes in the status or trends of ecosystems or ecosystem components, environmental monitoring efforts aim to measure important resources over time. When collected properly, such data can be essential in guiding adaptive management during restoration or conservation implementation. Utah Lake, located in north-central Utah, is a large, eutrophic shallow lake ecosystem that has endured a suite of anthropogenic disturbances over the last 200 years. Among the more disruptive disturbances are the introduction of an exotic fish, Common carp (Cyprinus carpio), and excessive nutrient pollution, which are the primary catalysts for Utah Lakes current eutrophic state. Common carp function as ecosystem engineers as their benthic, omnivorous feeding habits can drive a shift from a clear water, highly vegetated state, to a turbid water state with minimal aquatic vegetation. Nutrient inputs exacerbate the problem by stimulating dense filamentous algae blooms which further limit light penetration beneath the water surface thus ultimately preventing the establishment of submerged aquatic vegetation. As a first step toward restoring the Utah Lake ecosystem to a more natural state, managers have initiated one of the largest biomanipulation (fish removal) efforts known to take place, where the annual goal is to remove five million pounds of carp for six consecutive years. Recognizing the importance of monitoring potential changes due to carp removal, researchers and managers have initiated the development of a Utah Lake ecosystem monitoring plan. The goal of this project is to develop a standardized sampling approach to essential ecosystem parameters, in which sample design and statistical accuracy and precision prove to be as sufficient as possible. Using food web ecology, we identified priority ecosystem parameters for monitoring efforts, and provide hypotheses regarding changes in parameters that may result from carp removal. We evaluated historical and recent data, as well as data collected specifically for this study related to Utah Lake algae and diatoms, water chemistry and quality, zooplankton, macroinvertebrates, fish, and macrophytes. Our results highlighted the importance of considering food web ecology during restoration efforts, and provided a framework that may facilitate adaptive management during one of the largest natural experiments known to be performed.

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Apr 3rd, 11:00 AM Apr 3rd, 11:20 AM

Development of a Utah Lake Ecosystem Monitoring Plan: Food Web Ecology, Restoration and Conservation

ECC 303

In order to provide data that reflects changes in the status or trends of ecosystems or ecosystem components, environmental monitoring efforts aim to measure important resources over time. When collected properly, such data can be essential in guiding adaptive management during restoration or conservation implementation. Utah Lake, located in north-central Utah, is a large, eutrophic shallow lake ecosystem that has endured a suite of anthropogenic disturbances over the last 200 years. Among the more disruptive disturbances are the introduction of an exotic fish, Common carp (Cyprinus carpio), and excessive nutrient pollution, which are the primary catalysts for Utah Lakes current eutrophic state. Common carp function as ecosystem engineers as their benthic, omnivorous feeding habits can drive a shift from a clear water, highly vegetated state, to a turbid water state with minimal aquatic vegetation. Nutrient inputs exacerbate the problem by stimulating dense filamentous algae blooms which further limit light penetration beneath the water surface thus ultimately preventing the establishment of submerged aquatic vegetation. As a first step toward restoring the Utah Lake ecosystem to a more natural state, managers have initiated one of the largest biomanipulation (fish removal) efforts known to take place, where the annual goal is to remove five million pounds of carp for six consecutive years. Recognizing the importance of monitoring potential changes due to carp removal, researchers and managers have initiated the development of a Utah Lake ecosystem monitoring plan. The goal of this project is to develop a standardized sampling approach to essential ecosystem parameters, in which sample design and statistical accuracy and precision prove to be as sufficient as possible. Using food web ecology, we identified priority ecosystem parameters for monitoring efforts, and provide hypotheses regarding changes in parameters that may result from carp removal. We evaluated historical and recent data, as well as data collected specifically for this study related to Utah Lake algae and diatoms, water chemistry and quality, zooplankton, macroinvertebrates, fish, and macrophytes. Our results highlighted the importance of considering food web ecology during restoration efforts, and provided a framework that may facilitate adaptive management during one of the largest natural experiments known to be performed.

https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/runoff/2012/AllAbstracts/1