Welcome to the blog for the Environmental Change in Lake Ecosystems field course held at the Queen’s University Biology Station (QUBS) from August 18 to 31, 2013.
Dr. Shelley E Arnott, Associate Professor in the Department of Biology at Queen’s University is leading the course, along with MSc student, Kim Lemmen.
This course provides students an opportunity to use lake surveys, field experiments, and laboratory studies to explore current ideas about freshwater ecology. Students spent the first week sampling a variety of lakes in the region surrounding QUBS and the second week was devoted to conducting independent projects addressing a relative limnological question.
This course has been run for several years in Killarney Park but this was the first year that it has taken place at QUBS. Students surveyed nineteen lakes in the surrounding QUBS area, each with different physical and chemical compositions, as well as varying community structures.
The data collected on this field course will hopefully be the start of a long term plan to analyze and compare the lakes each year. The intention of this goal is to have a better understanding of the lakes and to recognize any significant changes that might come about in the future.
The region that we sampled has quite a varied underlying geology, ranging from limestone alvars to granite barrens. This dramatic difference in geology is primarily due to the transition zone between the Canadian Shield and the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Lowlands. The bedrock in the area varies on the order of kilometers which dramatically influences lake chemistry and ecology. Our research here touches on these differences between lakes on this varied bedrock, based on changes in conductivity and pH. Be sure to check out the rest of this blog to read about important trends we’ve found!