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Hydrobiologia

, Volume 549, Issue 1, pp 99–113 | Cite as

The Effect of Fish Introductions on the Diatom and Cladoceran Communities of Lake Opeongo, Ontario, Canada

  • J.-M. St. JacquesEmail author
  • M.S.V. Douglas
  • N. Price
  • N. Drakulic
  • C.P. Gubala
Primary Research Paper

Abstract

Fish introductions are one of the most widespread anthropogenic perturbations to aquatic ecosystems. Paradoxically, the effects of these introductions on aquatic ecosystems are typically poorly documented. This project studied the effect of fish introductions on Lake Opeongo, an oligotrophic lake in Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada (45° 42′ N, 78° 22′ W), using the remains of algae (diatoms) and zooplankton (cladocerans) preserved in the sediments. It was hypothesized that the introduction of cisco or lake herring (Coregonus artedii Lesueur) in 1948, which filled the underutilized pelagic forage fish niche, should have altered nutrient availability for phytoplankton. Prior to cisco introduction, the diatom community of Lake Opeongo reflected a relatively stable oligotrophic state established before European settlement, and consisted of the Cyclotella stelligera complex with subdominants Tabellaria flocculosa IIIp and the Aulacoseira distans complex. No marked changes occurred until ca. 1962 when the diatom community shifted to an assemblage with increased total phosphorus preferences, consisting of Asterionella formosa and lesser amounts of Cyclotella bodanica var lemanica, the C. stelligera complex, Fragilaria crotonensis and T. flocculosa IIIp. The dominant cladoceran Bosmina longirostris increased significantly in relative abundance since the introduction of cisco. The most likely cause of this shift was increased nutrient recycling and/or trophic level changes caused by human manipulation of the fish community of the lake.

Keywords

diatoms cisco fish introduction nutrient recycling 

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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • J.-M. St. Jacques
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • M.S.V. Douglas
    • 2
  • N. Price
    • 2
  • N. Drakulic
    • 2
  • C.P. Gubala
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of BiologyQueen’s UniversityKingstonCanada
  2. 2.Department of GeologyUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  3. 3.JC Headwaters Canada, Inc.OakvilleCanada

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