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A preliminary national analysis of some key characteristics of Canadian lakes

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Abstract:

Knowledge of Canada’s lakes is needed to manage environmental stresses. Lake inventory and lake feature databases were used to build a national impact assessment template and assess regional typology. There are ~910400 lakes with area≥ 0.1km2 (10ha), 37% of the Earth’s total. Lake features (number of lakes by size class, maximum depth, mean–maximum depth ratio, Secchi depth, pH, and total dissolved solids) were modeled regionally by secondary watershed (SWS) using linear regression models. Lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) occurrence was analyzed as a cofactor to highlight regional links between lake characteristics and aquatic biota. Significant (R2 from 0.231 to 0.492) regional models were obtained using area or maximum depth, lake trout occurrence, and their cross products as covariates. Analyses of fitted SWS coefficients showed that ecozones were a better predictor of lake characteristics than primary watersheds. The national typology was consistent with previous regional assessments. The regional models were used to estimate the number, area, and volume of lake trout lakes by size class and ecozone. There are ~66500 lake trout lakes covering ~3510000km2 primarily on Boreal and Taiga Shield areas. Regional lake resource models will enable national assessment of stresses such as climate change and invasive species.

Il est essentiel de connaître les lacs canadiens afin de pouvoir gérer les stress de l’environnement. Nous avons utilisé des banques de données d’inventaire des lacs et des caractéristiques lacustres afin de bâtir une matrice nationale d’évaluation des impacts et d’évaluer la typologie régionale. Il y a ~910400 lacs à superficie ≥ 0,1 km2 (10 ha), soit 37 % du total mondial. Nous avons modélisé les caractéristiques lacustres (nombre de lacs par classe de taille, profondeur maximale, rapport des profondeurs moyenne–maximale, profondeur de Secchi, pH et solides dissous totaux) par région en fonction des bassins versants secondaires (SWS) à l’aide de modèles de régression linéaire. Nous avons analysé la présence du touladi (Salvelinus namaycush) comme co-facteur pour souligner les liens régionaux entre les caractéristiques lacustres et les organismes. Nous avons obtenu des modèles régionaux significatifs (R2 de 0,231 à 0,492) en utilisant la superficie, ou la profondeur maximale, la présence du touladi et leurs produits croisés comme covariables. Des analyses des coefficients SWS ajustés montrent que les écozones sont de meilleures variables prédictives des caractéristiques lacustres que les bassins versants primaires. La typologie nationale s’accorde aux évaluations régionales antérieures. Les modèles régionaux ont servi à estimer le nombre, la superficie et le volume des lacs à touladis par classe de taille et par zone. Il y a ~66500 lacs à touladis couvrant ~3510000 km2, principalement dans les régions boréales et la taïga sur le bouclier canadien. Les modèles régionaux de ressources lacustres permettront une évaluation nationale des stress, tels que le changement climatique et les espèces envahissantes.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2008

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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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