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Changes in phytoplankton communities following logging in the drainage basins of three boreal forest lakes in northwestern Ontario (Canada), 1991–2000

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Abstract:



The phytoplankton communities of three small boreal forest lakes (L26, L39, and L42) on Ontario's Precambrian Shield (Canada) were investigated over 10 years for possible effects of forest harvesting (logging) within their drainage basins (5 years before logging vs. 5 years after logging). During the postlogging period, higher biovolumes of several taxa were recorded, consistent with previously reported changes in nutrients, chlorophyll, light penetration, and mixing depth. Among the most dramatic changes were increases of 100 and 266% in Cyanophyceae in L39 and L42, respectively, 167% in Dinophyceae in L26, 51 and 130% in Chlorophyceae in L26 and L42, respectively, 182% in Bacillariophyceae in L26, and 53 and 73% in total phytoplankton in L26 and L42, respectively. Other effects associated with logging in the watersheds of these lakes included an increase in the numbers of taxa (in accordance with the intermediate disturbance hypothesis) and a decrease in interannual variability in phytoplankton community structure (in accordance with the ecosystem diversity–stability hypothesis). The less extensive logging of the L26 drainage basin and the maintenance of an unlogged shoreline buffer strip did not preclude apparent effects on phytoplankton comparable with some of those found in the other two lakes, where drainage basin logging was more extensive.

Nous avons suivi les communautés phytoplanctoniques de trois petits lacs boréaux (L26, L39 et L42) du Bouclier laurentien en Ontario (Canada) sur une période de 10 ans pour déceler les effets possibles du déboisement (exploitation forestière) de leurs bassins versants (5 années avant le déboisement vs 5 années après le déboisement). Pendant la période qui a suivi le déboisement, nous avons observé des biovolumes accrus chez plusieurs taxons, en accord avec les changements dans les nutriments, la chlorophylle, la pénétration de la lumière et la profondeur de la zone de brassage signalés antérieurement. Parmi les changements les plus spectaculaires, il faut noter les augmentations respectives de 100 % et de 266 % des Cyanophyceae dans les lacs L39 et L42, de 167 % des Dinophyceae du lac L26, de 51 % et de 130 % des Chlorophyceae des lacs L26 et L42, de 182 % des Bacillariophyceae du lac L26 et de 53 % et de 73 % du phytoplancton total des lacs L26 et L42. Comme autres effets du déboisement du bassin versant de ces lacs, on peut signaler l'augmentation du nombre de taxons (en accord avec l'hypothèse de la perturbation intermédiaire) et une diminution de la variabilité de la structure de la communauté phytoplanctonique d'une année à l'autre (en accord avec l'hypothèse de la diversité–stabilité des écosystèmes). Le déboisement moins important du bassin versant et le maintien d'une zone de protection boisée le long de la rive du lac L26 n'ont pas empêché les effets apparents sur le phytoplancton, effets semblables à ceux qui se sont produits dans les deux autres lacs dont le bassin versant a été plus fortement déboisé.[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2003

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  • Published continuously since 1901 (under various titles), this monthly journal is the primary publishing vehicle for the multidisciplinary field of aquatic sciences. It publishes perspectives (syntheses, critiques, and re-evaluations), discussions (comments and replies), articles, and rapid communications, relating to current research on cells, organisms, populations, ecosystems, or processes that affect aquatic systems. The journal seeks to amplify, modify, question, or redirect accumulated knowledge in the field of fisheries and aquatic science. Occasional supplements are dedicated to single topics or to proceedings of international symposia.
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