Event Title

The Response of Utah Lake's Plant Community Structure to Cultural Eutrophication

Presenter Information

Leighton King

Location

Logan Golf & Country Club, Logan, UT

Start Date

3-26-2019 5:00 PM

End Date

3-26-2019 7:00 PM

Description

Shallow lakes often do not respond gradually to increasing nutrient concentrations, but rather exhibit self-stabilizing regimes: a clear water, macrophyte dominated regime or a turbid, phytoplankton dominated regime. Utah Lake is a large, shallow lake located in north-central Utah. It features several hallmark indicators of a turbid eutrophic lake, including recurrent harmful algal blooms. The impact that regime shifts have had on the primary production of Utah Lake are not yet fully understood. Here, I examine the role that plant community structure plays in maintaining the eutrophic state by pairing present day water quality measurements with primary production modeling and laboratory experiments. This question is significant, as benthic primary production is rarely measured, poorly understood, and can potentially play an important role in controlling both internal nutrient loading and resuspension in shallow lakes. Here, we present calculated contemporary and historic benthic production rates of Utah Lake. This work leads the way to a greater understanding of the role that shifts in plant community structure may play in establishing and perpetuating eutrophic conditions in shallow lakes.

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Mar 26th, 5:00 PM Mar 26th, 7:00 PM

The Response of Utah Lake's Plant Community Structure to Cultural Eutrophication

Logan Golf & Country Club, Logan, UT

Shallow lakes often do not respond gradually to increasing nutrient concentrations, but rather exhibit self-stabilizing regimes: a clear water, macrophyte dominated regime or a turbid, phytoplankton dominated regime. Utah Lake is a large, shallow lake located in north-central Utah. It features several hallmark indicators of a turbid eutrophic lake, including recurrent harmful algal blooms. The impact that regime shifts have had on the primary production of Utah Lake are not yet fully understood. Here, I examine the role that plant community structure plays in maintaining the eutrophic state by pairing present day water quality measurements with primary production modeling and laboratory experiments. This question is significant, as benthic primary production is rarely measured, poorly understood, and can potentially play an important role in controlling both internal nutrient loading and resuspension in shallow lakes. Here, we present calculated contemporary and historic benthic production rates of Utah Lake. This work leads the way to a greater understanding of the role that shifts in plant community structure may play in establishing and perpetuating eutrophic conditions in shallow lakes.