CARBON-CLIMATE INTERACTIONS IN HARD-WATER LAKES

CARBON-CLIMATE INTERACTIONS IN HARD-WATER LAKES

Hard-water lakes comprise over half of the volume of inland waters worldwide, but our understanding of carbon dynamics is relatively little studied in these systems. Our work has shown that hard-water lakes are strongly regulated by inorganic carbon loading from the catchment, and that negative feedback mechanisms, whereby CO2 uptake increases as the climate warms, are more prevalent. I am interested in developing a mechanistic understanding of how climate change affects lake carbon processing across many different types of lakes through variations in the climate parameters of Energy flux (e.g. temperature) and mass flux (e.g.precipitation). Understanding the interplay between carbon and climate in inland waters is critical in projecting the future of climate change in Canada and across the globe.

Katepwa lake in winter

AGRICULTURAL DUGUOUTS FOR GREENHOUSE GAS OFFSETS

Given that hard-water lakes in southern Saskatchewan are pulling in CO2 from the atmosphere, we want to determine whether we can use this to our advantage, and find sites that could be used for greenhouse gas offsets.  Agricultural dugouts are prime candidates for carbon burial, as they are managed systems, with similar chemistry to other hard-water systems, and low rates of CH4 and N2O production.  We are currently measuring greenhouse gas emission and uptake rates, carbon burial in the sediments, and basic water quality measurements to determine  which dugout characteristics maximize carbon uptake and long term storage.

HOTWATER PHYSA

Physella wrighti is an aquatic snail found in one location at Liard River Hotsprings Provincial Park, a small hotsprings complex located in northcentral British Columbia (BC). They are listed as endangered by COSEWIC and SARA due to their limited habitat. Very little is known about this species of snail and the current project aims to fill in our understanding of its morphology, taxonomy, habitat requirements as well as where it fits phylogenetically with regards to other physa. This project is in collaboration with the Royal Saskatchewan Museum and British Columbia Ministry of the Environment.

Liard Hotsprings Provincial Park
Physella wrightii

WATER QUALITY OF PROVINCIAL PARK LAKES

Visitors to Saskatchewan provincial parks actively use the lakes for a variety of recreational purposes, including swimming, boating, and fishing, and the lakes act as important wildlife habitat.  There is therefore a need not only to assess the current state of the lakes in our provincial parks, but also to continually monitor for changes to lake water quality. We are currently developing management strategies for Loch Leven in Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park, and Kenosee Lake in Moose Mountain Provincial Park to manage for weedy plants and cyanobacteria.

Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park

© 2017 Kerri Finlay

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