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Environ Monit Assess. 2003 Oct-Nov;88(1-3):21-37.

Inter- and intra-annual chemical variability during the ice-free season in lakes with different flushing rates and acid deposition histories.

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Cooperative Freshwater Ecology Unit, Laurentian University, Ramsey Lake Road, Sudbury, ON, Canada, P3E 2C6.


Quantifying chemical variability in different lake types is important for the assessment of both chemical and biological responses to environmental change. For monitoring programs that emphasize a large number of lakes at the expense of frequent samples, high variability may influence how representative single samples are of the average conditions of individual lakes. Intensive temporal data from long-term research sites provide a unique opportunity to assess chemical variability in lakes with different characteristics. We compared the intra- and inter-annual variability of four acidification related variables (Gran alkalinity, pH, sulphate concentration, and total base cation concentration) in four lakes with different flushing rates and acid deposition histories. Variability was highest in lakes with high flushing rates and was not influenced by historic acid deposition in our study lakes. This has implications for the amount of effort required in monitoring programs. Lakes with high flushing rates will require more frequent sampling intervals than lakes with low flushing rates. Consideration of specific lake types should be included in the design of monitoring programs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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