The Effects of Salinity on the Stratification of Inland Lakes in SE Michigan

Hallee Kansman
Eastern Michigan University Biology Department
Hallee is a recent Eastern Michigan University graduate. She earned a B.S. in Biology with a focus in Zoology. She also graduated with Departmental Honors, where she was able to work alongside Dr. Judd to accomplish an undergraduate thesis, which was presented at the EMU Undergraduate Symposium. Outside of academics, Hallee was a part of the Varsity Soccer team, a member of the Academic-Athletic Advisory Council and a Leadershape member at EMU. She plans to continue her love of wildlife in graduate school, hopefully out west.
Other presenters/researchers: 
Dr. Judd (Research Advisor)

Recent studies show that road salt inputs are affecting aquatic ecosystems. With the addition of salt to freshwater lakes, density differences increase between surface and bottom waters and more energy is needed to cause mixing in the spring and the fall. The aim of this study was to determine if local lakes show evidence of salt accumulation and if this is reducing seasonal turnover. We measured oxygen and temperature in the spring and summer of 2015 to determine the degree of turnover, and measured nutrients and chlorophyll in the epilimnion, metalimnion and hypolimnion. We found that more strongly stratified lakes had greater nutrient concentrations in the bottom waters. Our results indicate that even lakes without high salt concentrations showed signs of reduced turnover. These findings suggest that small deep lakes may be particularly susceptible to further reductions in mixing if salt inputs increase.

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