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The Effect of River-Borne Phosphorus Loading on the Phytoplankton Community of Nottawasaga Bay

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Title: The Effect of River-Borne Phosphorus Loading on the Phytoplankton Community of Nottawasaga Bay
Author: Farrow, Christopher
Department: Department of Integrative Biology
Program: Integrative Biology
Advisor: Ackerman, Josef
Abstract: Coastal embayments are susceptible to eutrophication because of anthropogenic factors in their watersheds. Nottawasaga Bay provides a model system to study the effect of nutrient loading because it is oligotrophic. I investigated the effect of nutrients provided by the Nottawasaga River on the nearshore phytoplankton composition of Nottawasaga Bay over two field seasons in 2015 and 2016. I used imaging flow cytometry to enumerate algal taxa and multivariate statistics (RDA, perMANOVA, hierarchical clustering) to examine how nutrients and the transport of algal taxa affect community composition. Sampling stations with different proportions of river water had significantly different phytoplankton communities. Eutrophy indicator taxa were positively associated with phosphorus concentrations in the bay, whereas oligotrophy indicators were opposite. Diversity and evenness were not different between stations, but exhibited patterns consistent with seasonal succession of the phytoplankton community. The Nottawasaga River has pronounced effects on the nearshore phytoplankton community by transporting its algal taxa and by providing nutrients, but these effects were nearly indistinguishable.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/12326
Date: 2018-01
Rights: Attribution 2.5 Canada


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Attribution 2.5 Canada Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Attribution 2.5 Canada