A multi-taxonomic indicator of acidification : isolating the effects of pH from other water-chemistry variables

  title={A multi-taxonomic indicator of acidification : isolating the effects of pH from other water-chemistry variables},
  author={Sean P. Lonergan and Joseph B. Rasmussen},
  journal={Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences},
  • S. Lonergan, J. Rasmussen
  • Published 1 August 1996
  • Environmental Science
  • Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
Abundances of 72 zoobenthic taxa, pH values, and other abiotic variables were sampled in the littoral zones of 45 Canadian Shield lakes. Using these data, an eight-taxon empirical model of acidification was developed through partial canonical correlation analysis. This model describes 86% of the variation in pH. This technique was used to isolate those taxa whose distributions most directly reflected pH variability after the influence of calcium concentration, conductivity, colour, and spatial… 

Figures and Tables from this paper

Relationships Between Macroinvertebrate Assemblages of Stony Littoral Habitats and Water Chemistry Variables Indicative of Acid-stress
Gradient analyses were used to correlatively determine the importance of acid-related variables for littoral macroinvertebrate assemblages. To better ascertain the effects of acidity on
Benthic Fauna of Extremely Acidic Lakes (pH 2 - 3)
The benthic food web in extremely acidic mining Lusatian lakes is very short in terms of species richness, trophic relationship, guilds and functional feeding groups, and may be described as donor-controlled dynamics, in which the prey controls the density of the predators.
Changes in littoral benthic macroinvertebrate communities in relation to water chemistry in 17 Precambrian Shield lakes
The ability of pH and several water chemistry covariables to explain temporal changes in the littoral benthic macroinvertebrate communities of lakes recovering from acidification is examined.
Assessing Potential for Recovery of Biotic Richness and Indicator Species due to Changes in Acidic Deposition and Lake ph in Five Areas of Southeastern Canada
The results reconfirm that pH 5.5–6.0 is an important threshold below which damage to aquatic biota will remain a major local and regional environmental problem and will persist well into the future if no further reductions in sulphate deposition are implemented.
Can we use macroinvertebrates as indicators of acidification of high-altitude Alpine Lakes?
Chemical recovery of lakes in the Western Alps as a consequence of decreased acid deposition has been reported since mid 1990’s. Nevertheless, examples of biological recovery are still rare. In
Littoral oligochaete (Annelida : Oligochaeta) communities in neutral and acidic lakes in the Republic of Karelia, Russia
The structure of littoral oligochaete communities in relation to pH was studied in five small lakes in South-western Karelia and total density of gatherers (T) as well as their relative density in the oligochAete assemblage and macroinvertebrate communities were lower in the acidified lakes.
Effect of water chemistry on the physiology and toxicity assessment in Daphnia
All aquatic systems are potentially exposed to changes in the water parameters, as a consequence of environmental current phenomena such as acid deposition, leaching of ions from soils and climate
Relationships between lake water chemistry and benthic macroinvertebrates in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region, Alberta
A number of metrics were strongly correlated with lake acidity and the following compositional metrics proved to be the most suitable for monitoring acidification in the AOSR: % Diptera, % Oligochaeta, % EPT, Total Ephemeroptera and Total Trichoptera.
Calcium content of crustacean zooplankton and its potential role in species distribution
Within the Daphnia genus, the specific Ca content increased with increasing body size of the species, and thus the large-bodied species had especially high Ca demands, and could be competitively disadvantaged in softwater lakes relative to less Ca-demanding species.


Composition of the benthos in relation to pH in the LaCloche lakes
In the LaCloche Mountains of Ontario, 11 lakes spanning the pH range 4.8 to 6.7 were sampled for benthic organisms and six taxa, including gastropods, pelecypods, daphnids, ephemeropterans, amphipods and ceratopogonids, either were reduced in abundance or absent from the more acid lakes.
Distribution, abundance and biomass of benthic macroinvertebrates relative to pH and nutrients in eight lakes of Nova Scotia, Canada
Macarinvertebrate richness was reduced with increased levels of acidity but nutrient availability apparently controlled macroinvertebrates abundance and biomass in the lakes.
Zooplankton and zoobenthos communities of selected northern Ontario lakes of different acidities
The zooplankton and zoobenthos were investigated in six lakes in the Sudbury area of Ontario in which pH values lay between 4.05 and 7.15. Zooplankton showed a significant reduction in species and
Distributions of Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera of three maritime catchments differing in pH
Although the Nova Scotian catchments have probably been historically acidic, due to high concentrations of organic acids, pH currently limits the distributions of many indigenous invertebrate species, and these species may be vulnerable to the more recent, additional, anthropogenic acidification of these catchments.
Influence of pH, Aluminum, and Organic Matter on Stream Invertebrates
Survival of all species was significantly decreased at pH 4 compared with controls but not at pH 5 except for Asellus (15–20% mortality), and adding 500 μg Al/L caused significant additional mortality under some conditions for all species.
Biological indicators of lake acidification
Indicator taxa are identified, based on both synoptic surveys and whole lake acidification experiments, for lake acidification in the pH 6.0 to 5.0 range. Acidobiontic diatoms (e.g Asterionella
Long-Term Ecosystem Stress: The Effects of Years of Experimental Acidification on a Small Lake
Key organisms in the food web leading to lake trout, including Mysis relicta and Pimephales promelas, were eliminated from the lake at pH values as high as 5.8, an indication that irreversible stresses on aquatic ecosystems occur earlier in the acidification process than was heretofore believed.
Phytoplankton in Quebec Lakes: Variation with Lake Morphometry, and with Natural and Anthropogenic Acidification
Alkalinity–acidity gradient is the most important factor related to phytoplankton groups and species distribution and most of the cyanophytes taxa and some chlorophytes are positively related to the hardness-alkalinity and the sulphates loading factors.
Relationships between Acidity and Benthic Invertebrates of Low-Order Woodland Streams in the Adirondack Mountains, New York
Benthic invertebrates were collected during January, April, July, and October 1985 from three low-order woodland streams in the Adirondack Mountains, New York to evaluate relationships between
Lake Acidification as a Limiting Factor in the Distribution of the Freshwater Amphipod Hyalella azteca
The distribution of the freshwater amphipod Hyalella azteca in 79 Ontario lakes suggests that its absence may be a good indicator of lake acidification. Hyalella azteca was present in 69 of 71