EPA Science Inventory

Acidification in the Adirondacks: Defining the Biota in trophic Levels of 30 Chemically Diverse Acid-Impacted Lakes

Citation:

Nierzwicki-Bauer, S. A., C. W. Boylen, L. W. Eicher, J. P. Harrison, J. W. Sutherland, W. Shaw, R. A. Daniels, D. F. Charles, F. W. Acker, T. J. Sullivan, B. Momen, AND P. Bukaveckas. Acidification in the Adirondacks: Defining the Biota in trophic Levels of 30 Chemically Diverse Acid-Impacted Lakes. ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY. American Chemical Society, Washington, DC, 44(15):5721-5727, (2010).

Description:

The Adirondack Mountains in New York State have a varied surficial geology and chemically diverse surface waters that are among the most impacted by acid deposition in the U.S. No single Adirondack investigation has been comprehensive in defining the effects of acidification on species diversity, from bacteria through fish, essential for understanding the full impact of acidification on biota. Baseline midsummer chemistry and community composition are presented for a group of chemically diverse Adirondack lakes. Species richness of all trophic levels except bacteria is significantly correlated with lake acid-base chemistry. The loss of taxa observed per unit pH was similar: bacterial genera (2.50), bacterial classes (1.43), phytoplankton (3.97), rotifers (3.56), crustaceans (1.75), macrophytes (3.96), and fish (3.72). Specific pH criteria were applied to the communities to define and identify acid-tolerant (pH < 5.0), acid-resistant (pH 5.0 – 5.6), and acid-sensitive (pH > 5.6) species which could serve as indicators. Acid-tolerant and acid-sensitive categories are at end-points along the pH scale, significantly different at P < 0.05; the acid-resistant category is in the range of pH between these end-points, where community changes continually occur as the ecosystem moves in one direction or another. The biota acid tolerance classification (batc) system described herein provides a clear distinction between the taxonomic groups identified in these subcategories and can be used to evaluate the impact of acid deposition on different trophic levels of biological communities.

Purpose/Objective:

The Adirondack Mountains in New York State have a varied surficial geology and chemically diverse surface waters that are among the most impacted by acid deposition in the U.S.

URLs/Downloads:

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Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Start Date: 07/08/2010
Completion Date: 07/08/2010
Record Last Revised: 04/01/2013
Record Created: 09/24/2010
Record Released: 09/24/2010
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 230190

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LAB

WESTERN ECOLOGY DIVISION

FRESHWATER ECOLOGY BRANCH