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Articles by C. K. Minns
Total Records ( 5 ) for C. K. Minns
  C. K. Minns
  Canada holds several of the world's large lakes (≥100 km2). Many of these lakes, apart from the largest like the Great Lakes, are almost unknown beyond their location and area. This study documents a recent compilation and analyses of some key limnological features of these lakes: drainage area, lake area, maximum and mean depth, pH, Secchi depth, and total dissolved solids. The analyses showed the relationships among these features and with their primary watershed and ecozone assignments. Lake area and maximum depth were good predictors of some of the other lake variables. Ecozone was generally a better predictor than primary watershed of regional variation in lake variables with lake area or maximum depth as a covariate scaling for lake size. To enable regional impact assessments of cumulative environmental pressures of Canada's large lakes, these predictive regression models provide a stop-gap means for estimating key lake characteristics when data are missing. However, as cumulative pressures increase, Canada needs to increase efforts to undertake limnological inventories and learn more first hand about these poorly known lakes.
  C. M. Brousseau , R. G. Randall , J. A. Hoyle and C. K. Minns
  The Index of Biotic Integrity (Minns et al., 1994) was used to evaluate ecosystem health in the Bay of Quinte, Lake Ontario. Despite being classified an Area of Concern (AOC) in 1985, Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) values at Bay of Quinte fell within the range or exceeded values from reference locations elsewhere in Lakes Ontario and Erie. Fish survey data collected from 1988-2009 in the Bay of Quinte and elsewhere indicated that (1) the Bay of Quinte has relatively healthy fish habitat despite the AOC designation, (2) Bay of Quinte IBI scores increased significantly between 1990 and 1999 due to changes in relative species richness and (3) differences in fish communities were correlated with physical habitat attributes at survey locations. Data from both nearshore electrofishing and trap net surveys confirmed that the Bay of Quinte supports a highly productive and diverse fish community.
  E. L. Gertzen , S. E. Doka , C. K. Minns , J. E. Moore and C. Bakelaar
  Lake Ontario water levels are regulated under the International Joint Commission's Order of Approval. We assessed the availability of spawning habitat for eight fish guilds (grouped by vegetation and spawning temperature preferences) that use nearshore habitat in the Bay of Quinte, Lake Ontario, under regulated and pre-project water level scenarios. Our model used habitat characteristics of depth, substrate, vegetation cover and temperature across 14,876 habitat units and guild-based habitat suitabilities to assess the weighted suitable area (WSA) available for spawning. During the modelled 1951–2000 period, regulated water levels were on average 0.25 m lower than pre-project levels and varied about half as much. Overall, the large and shallow upper bay within the Bay of Quinte benefited from pre-project flows whereas the smaller and deeper lower bay benefited from regulated flows. Higher variance in water levels increased highly suitable wetland area and higher mean water levels increased the availability of shallow flooded area in the upper and middle bays, where the bathymetry is gradually sloping. The number of days over which WSA was available was generally greater for high temperature guilds, and appeared to decrease when temperature mismatches occurred in a season. Results emphasize the complexity of the relationship between fish habitat supply and water level regime.
  K. E. Leisti , S. E. Doka and C. K. Minns
  Originally mesotrophic, the Bay of Quinte ecosystem has experienced eutrophication since the 1940s, which resulted in the decline of once-lush submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) beds in the upper bay by the mid-1960s. Since 1972, twelve SAV surveys have been conducted along ten index transects, recording:% cover, distance SAV beds extended from shore (extent), maximum depth of colonization (Zc), species composition, and, in later years, wet plant biomass. Offshore secchi depth and ϵpar, (the vertical light extinction rate (m−1) for photosynthetically active radiation), were also recorded either weekly or bi-weekly during the growing season since 1972. During this time, two major changes occurred within the bay: the reduction in point-source phosphorus (P-control) loadings in 1978 and the 1993 invasion by Dreissenid Mussel. SAV response to these changes varied temporally and spatially, with the shallow upper bay showing the greatest response, particularly after Zebra Mussels establishment. In the upper bay, mean secchi depth increased by 8% from 1.2 m prior to P-control (pre-P), to 1.3 m after P-control (post-P) and further increased by 46% to 1.9 m after Dreissena establishment (post-D). Upper bay SAV responded to these invasive species with increases in the means of three variables: Zc from 1.6 to 3.5 m, extent from 114 m to 417 m and wet biomass from 50 g m−2 to 962 g m−2. SAV in the middle and lower bays were in better condition in 1972, with pre-P cover in excess of 50% and Zc of 2.6 and 3.7 m, respectively. SAV cover did increase in the post-D (1994 to 2007) period by approximately 25% and Zc increased to 3.7 and 6.5 m, but the narrow fringing strip of shallower water along the shore in these two deeper bays limited substantial increases in bed extent. Both water clarity and basin morphometry strongly influenced SAV distribution and abundance within the Bay of Quinte.
  C. K. Minns
  Lake ecosystems are our sentinels of environmental change and their effective management is one of our key planetary challenges in the 21st century. The evolution of ecosystem science as a basis for management is reviewed using the nested set of the Laurentian Great Lakes, Lake Ontario, and the Bay of Quinte as a primary focus. Other great lakes of the world, many of which are in Canada, provide a secondary focus. Ecosystem science has a long history in the Laurentian Great Lakes with developments driven in large part by the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, Lake-Wide Management Plans, and Remedial Action Plans for Areas of Concern. By comparison most other large Canadian lakes have received little attention as is the case with many of the world's great lakes. The substantial arsenal of tools and knowledge accumulated in the Great Lakes can serve as a model for other lake systems. As the range of ecosystem management problems has continued to grow, the motivating theme has shifted from restoration through rehabilitation to adaptation. The main challenge is to coalesce the many stresses we previously have sought to manage singly: land use, population growth, habitat degradation, resource exploitation, invasive species, pollutant and contaminant loadings, and, finally, climate change. Essential features of effective ecosystem-based management are: a whole system view, active adaptive management, acceptance of science-based evidence, and shared goals with common objectives. The last two may prove the greatest hurdle as society becomes ever more divided and fractious given the global onslaught of environmental and societal challenges. The Great Lakes experience shows there is hope.
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