EPA Science Inventory

Hydrogeomorphic and Anthropogenic Influences on Water Quality, Habitat, and Fish of Great Lakes Coastal Wetlands

Citation:

TREBITZ, A. S. Hydrogeomorphic and Anthropogenic Influences on Water Quality, Habitat, and Fish of Great Lakes Coastal Wetlands. Presented at SWS (Society of Wetland Scientists) meeting, Madison, WI, June 21 - 26, 2009.

Description:

Great Lakes coastal wetlands represent a dynamic interface between coastal watersheds and the open lake. Compared to the adjacent lakes, these wetlands have generally warmer water, reduced wave energy, shallow bathymetry, higher productivity, and structurally complex vegetated habitat, and support a variety of resident and migrant fishes. The U.S. EPA’s Mid-Continent Ecology Division has been studying coastal wetland responses to anthropogenic stressors to support the development of protective nutrient and habitat criteria. We collected a comprehensive suite of water quality, habitat, and biotic data from 58 wetlands from all five Great Lakes covering a broad gradient of anthropogenic impacts. Across the basin, we found strong relationships between watershed land-use practices and wetland nutrient concentrations. Wetlands on Lake Superior and northern Lake Huron generally had the lowest anthropogenic impacts and nutrient levels, while wetlands in Lake Erie and lower Lake Michigan had the highest levels. Effects of eutrophication included increased algal production, reduced water clarity, degraded vegetation structure (e.g., reduced submerged cover, increased invasive plants), altered fish communities (e.g., increased abundance of tolerant species, decline in game and pan fish), and shifts in the food web base. Wetland water quality, habitat structure, and fish composition were also related to hydrology (e.g., river versus seiche dominated) and to geographic setting (e.g., parent lake, ecoregion). Stressor - response relationships and hydrogeomorphic classification factors revealed by this study are being used to explore criteria for scoring condition and setting protection standards for coastal wetlands

Purpose/Objective:

Stressor - response relationships and hydrogeomorphic classification factors revealed by this study are being used to explore criteria for scoring condition and setting protection standards for coastal wetlands

URLs/Downloads:

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (PRESENTATION/ABSTRACT)
Start Date: 06/21/2009
Completion Date: 06/21/2009
Record Last Revised: 07/07/2009
Record Created: 03/03/2009
Record Released: 03/03/2009
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 205128

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LAB

MID-CONTINENT ECOLOGY DIVISION

ECOSYSTEM ASSESSMENT RESEARCH