Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mother Nature Cleans Up Human-Made Mess: Algae Proved To Be Effective Bio-Monitors In Previously Contaminated Polar Lake

Date:
December 1, 2000
Source:
University Of Toronto
Summary:
A U of T researcher has found a polar lake in the Arctic to have significantly recovered despite decades of sewage dumping, proving that if given a chance, nature can help people clean up their act

Nov. 14, 2000 -- A U of T researcher has found a polar lake in the Arctic to have significantly recovered despite decades of sewage dumping, proving that if given a chance, nature can help people clean up their act.

Marianne Douglas, a geology professor, and her co-investigator, Queen's University professor John Smol, analyzed clusters of algae or diatoms and water samples taken from Meretta Lake at Resolute Bay, Nunavut, to determine the lake's water quality. "We were pleased to see the quickness of the lake's recovery and found the use of the diatoms to be very effective bio-monitors of the lake's conditions," she says. From 1949 to 1998, a Canadian Department of Transport base and other facilities dumped sewage into the lake. At its peak in the early 1970s, the base supported a population of approximately 200 but has declined to 65 today. No waste has been dumped in the lake since 1998.

The researchers took water samples from Meretta Lake and three ponds that feed into it to examine the phosphorus levels - a component of raw sewage and a nutrient that spurs algae growth - and compared their results with data from an earlier 1970s study done during the peak of activity at the base. They found that the phosphorus levels have declined sharply since 1972, which is in keeping with the decreased population of the military base. They also noted that certain species of algae thrived when there were high concentrations of phosphorus in the lake due to sewage dumping.

The researchers examined sediment from the lake for different species of algae or diatoms to get a snapshot of the lake's contamination levels at different time periods. These diatoms tracked the increase in nutrient levels accurately and can be used as effective paleoecological tools in future research. "We are eager to test the method on sites where archeologists suspect past communities of northern peoples camped 1,000 years ago," says Douglas. "Diatoms will be important indicators in tracking these past populations."

The study was supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and the Polar Continental Shelf Project and was recently published in Hydrobiologia.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Toronto. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Toronto. "Mother Nature Cleans Up Human-Made Mess: Algae Proved To Be Effective Bio-Monitors In Previously Contaminated Polar Lake." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 December 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/11/001122183430.htm>.
University Of Toronto. (2000, December 1). Mother Nature Cleans Up Human-Made Mess: Algae Proved To Be Effective Bio-Monitors In Previously Contaminated Polar Lake. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/11/001122183430.htm
University Of Toronto. "Mother Nature Cleans Up Human-Made Mess: Algae Proved To Be Effective Bio-Monitors In Previously Contaminated Polar Lake." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/11/001122183430.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Rare Lion Cubs Make Debut at Belgrade Zoo

Raw: Rare Lion Cubs Make Debut at Belgrade Zoo

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) Two white lion cubs were born in Belgrade zoo three weeks ago. White lions are a rare mutation of a species found in South Africa and some cultures consider them divine. (Oct. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Foods To Boost Your Mood

The Best Foods To Boost Your Mood

Buzz60 (Oct. 17, 2014) Feeling down? Reach for the refrigerator, not the medicine cabinet! TC Newman (@PurpleTCNewman) shares some of the best foods to boost your mood. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sweet Times for Hard Cider Makers

Sweet Times for Hard Cider Makers

AP (Oct. 16, 2014) With hard cider making a hardcore comeback across the country, craft makers are trying to keep up with demand and apple growers are tapping a juicy new revenue stream. (Oct. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Meet Garfi the Angry Cat

Meet Garfi the Angry Cat

Buzz60 (Oct. 16, 2014) Garfi is one frowny, feisty feline - downright angry! Ko Im (@koimtv) introduces us to the latest animal celebrity taking over the Internet. You can follow more of Garfi's adventures on Twitter (@MeetGarfi) and Facebook (Garfi). Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins