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Title: Integrated measures of anthropogenic stress in the U.S. Great Lakes Basin

Abstract

Using publicly available, pre-existing spatial datasets, we developed a geographic information system database of 86 variables related to five classes of anthropogenic stress in the U.S. Great Lakes basin: agriculture, atmospheric deposition, human population, land cover, and point source pollution. The original variables were quantified by a variety of data types over a broad range of spatial and classification resolutions. We summarized the original data for 762 watershed-based units that comprise the U.S. portion of the basin and then used principal components analysis to develop overall stress measures within each stress category. We developed a cumulative stress index by combining the first principal component from each of the five stress categories. Maps of the stress measures illustrate strong spatial patterns across the basin, with the greatest amount of stress occurring on the western shore of Lake Michigan, southwest Lake Erie, and southeastern Lake Ontario. We found strong relationships between the stress measures and characteristics of bird communities, fish communities, and water chemistry measurements from the coastal region. The stress measures are taken to represent the major threats to coastal ecosystems in the U.S. Great Lakes. Such regional-scale efforts are critical for understanding relationships between human disturbance and ecosystem response, andmore » can be used to guide environmental decision-making at both regional and local scales.« less

Authors:
; ;  [1]
  1. (and others) [University of Minnesota Duluth, Duluth, MN (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
21017246
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Environmental Management; Journal Volume: 39; Journal Issue: 5; Other Information: ndanz@nrri.umn.edu
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; USA; GREAT LAKES; WATER POLLUTION; FISHES; COASTAL REGIONS; ECOSYSTEMS; DATA ANALYSIS; POLLUTION SOURCES; AGRICULTURE; DEPOSITION; LAND USE; POINT POLLUTANT SOURCES; SPATIAL DISTRIBUTION; WATERSHEDS; ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS; BIRDS; WATER CHEMISTRY

Citation Formats

Danz, Nicholas, Niemi, Gerald, and Regal, Ronald. Integrated measures of anthropogenic stress in the U.S. Great Lakes Basin. United States: N. p., 2007. Web. doi:10.1007/s00267-005-0293-0.
Danz, Nicholas, Niemi, Gerald, & Regal, Ronald. Integrated measures of anthropogenic stress in the U.S. Great Lakes Basin. United States. doi:10.1007/s00267-005-0293-0.
Danz, Nicholas, Niemi, Gerald, and Regal, Ronald. Tue . "Integrated measures of anthropogenic stress in the U.S. Great Lakes Basin". United States. doi:10.1007/s00267-005-0293-0.
@article{osti_21017246,
title = {Integrated measures of anthropogenic stress in the U.S. Great Lakes Basin},
author = {Danz, Nicholas and Niemi, Gerald and Regal, Ronald},
abstractNote = {Using publicly available, pre-existing spatial datasets, we developed a geographic information system database of 86 variables related to five classes of anthropogenic stress in the U.S. Great Lakes basin: agriculture, atmospheric deposition, human population, land cover, and point source pollution. The original variables were quantified by a variety of data types over a broad range of spatial and classification resolutions. We summarized the original data for 762 watershed-based units that comprise the U.S. portion of the basin and then used principal components analysis to develop overall stress measures within each stress category. We developed a cumulative stress index by combining the first principal component from each of the five stress categories. Maps of the stress measures illustrate strong spatial patterns across the basin, with the greatest amount of stress occurring on the western shore of Lake Michigan, southwest Lake Erie, and southeastern Lake Ontario. We found strong relationships between the stress measures and characteristics of bird communities, fish communities, and water chemistry measurements from the coastal region. The stress measures are taken to represent the major threats to coastal ecosystems in the U.S. Great Lakes. Such regional-scale efforts are critical for understanding relationships between human disturbance and ecosystem response, and can be used to guide environmental decision-making at both regional and local scales.},
doi = {10.1007/s00267-005-0293-0},
journal = {Environmental Management},
number = 5,
volume = 39,
place = {United States},
year = {Tue May 15 00:00:00 EDT 2007},
month = {Tue May 15 00:00:00 EDT 2007}
}
  • A coupled meteorological and chemical modeling system with a 12-km horizontal grid spacing was used to simulate the evolution of ozone over the Great Lakes region between May and September of 1999 and 2001. Model performance was evaluated using operational surface and upper-air meteorological measurements and surface ozone data. The overall temporal and spatial variations in hourly ozone concentrations and ozone exposure from control simulations agreed reasonably well with the observations at most locations. The simulated ozone exposure was higher during the summer of 1999 than during 2001, similar to the observations. The emission projection simulation that employed the meteorologicalmore » conditions of 1999 and increased anthropogenic emissions projected for the year 2020 produced increases in ozone exceeding 80 ppb over the lower peninsula of Michigan, the eastern half of the upper peninsula of Michigan, and over Ontario just north of Lake Superior and Lake Huron. Relatively large increases in ozone exceeding 60 ppb were also produced over agricultural regions. Despite the projected increase in anthropogenic emissions for the year 2020, increases in ozone exceeding 60 ppb occurred only over the lake surfaces and in central Michigan when the meteorological conditions of the summer of 2001 were applied. The meteorological conditions during the summer of 2001 were not as favorable for ozone production and did not result in increased ozone. For both summers, increases in anthropogenic emissions projected for the year 2020 decreased ozone exposure in the immediate vicinity of the largest metropolitan areas. The simulated ozone from this study will be used in the near future as input to biological models to assess the response of ozone-sensitive tree species to current and future ozone levels in the Great Lakes region.« less
  • The chemical composition of bulk precipitation in the Lake Ontario basin has been studied to determine its potential contribution to the chemical budgets of the lake and to provide basic background data as a baseline for later comparisons. The results from seven sampling stations during the two-year period 1970-1971 are presented. The results suggest that bulk precipitation may be a significant source of nitrogen and phosphorus to the lake, with the nitrogen input estimated at 12 to 14% of the total from other sources and the phosphorus input from 5 to 14%. The bulk precipitation loadings of the major ionsmore » sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, chloride and sulphate to the lake were found to be less than 3% of estimated Niagara River loadings of the same parameters. Comparisons of lake surface loadings of heavy-metals by bulk precipitation in the Lake Ontario Basin with estimated Niagara River loadings have shown that bulk precipitation may be a significant source of lead and zinc to the lake. Bulk precipitation loadings were found to be from 15 to 36% and from 58 to 85% of the estimated Niagara River loadings for lead and zinc, respectively.« less
  • During the past 20-30 years, some of the native Great Lakes fish species have declined in abundance to the point where they are now classified as threatened or endangered. As such fish as the coregonines and the four-horned sculpin have declined, other species, including the smelt and the white perch, have reproduced and spread to the extent that they threaten other fish populations. Moreover, carp, suckers and freshwater drum are being considered as possible sources of animal feed. Fish stocking, commercial and sport fishing, water quality monitoring, and sea lamprey control are discussed for the Great Lakes basin. (1 diagram,more » 3 graphs, 3 maps, 4 references, 4 tables)« less
  • In 1991, the authors collected red-winged blackbird (Agelauis phoeniceus) eggs and tree swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) eggs and nestlings, and sediment samples from 2 wetland sites in the Great lakes and St. Lawrence River basin. They analyzed for chlorinated hydrocarbons and total mercury and found that biota contained contaminant concentrations which were one to two orders of magnitude above those in sediments. Maximum concentrations of contaminants were found in Akwesasne, St. Lawrence river (PCBs = 18,558.8 ng/g in red-winged blackbird eggs, oxychlordane = 58.8/g and mirex = 40.1 ng/g in tree swallow eggs); Mud Creek, Lake Erie and Cootes Paradise. Despitemore » the migratory habits of red-winged blackbirds and tree swallows, agreement among biota and sediment in geographic variation of contaminant concentrations supports the use of these animals as biomonitors of persistent chemicals. Although chlorinated hydrocarbon concentrations in red-winged blackbird eggs were significantly correlated with sediment contamination, the local nature of the tree swallow chick diet suggests that nestlings would be the best indicator of local contaminant trends.« less
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