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Mackie et al.- Trophic Status of lakes

Summary of morphometric, physical, chemical and biological criteria

Soil & Water Conservation Society of Metro Halifax (SWCSMH)

July 26, 2006      Lake Carrying Capacities Homepage


Mackie, G.L., Hincks, S., and Barker, D. 2000. Introduction to Aquatic Environments, Course Manual, Univeristy of Guelph. 11 chapters, 5 appendices., and

Mackie, G.L. 2001. Applied Aquatic Ecosystem Concepts. Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company. xxv, 744 pp. ISBN 0-7872-7490-9.

Mackie, G.L. 2004. APPLIED AQUATIC ECOSYSTEM CONCEPTS. Second Ed. Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company. 784pp. ISBN 0-7575-0883-9

FeaturesOligotrophic lakesMesotrophic lakesEutrophic lakes
Lake basin shapeU-shapedDeep V-shapeShallow V-shape
Mean depthVery deepModerately shallowUsually shallow
Hypolimnion temperature4 CAbout 4 CUsually >4 C
Hypolimnion volumeLargeModerately smallSmall
Thermocline depthHighModerately deepShallow
Secchi depth>5 m3-5 m<3 m
Dissolved oxygen profileOrthogradeClinogradeClinograde
mg O2/m/day
Dissolved oxygen content90-100% in hypolimnion25-90% in hypolimnion<25% in hypolimnion
Calcium contentLow
(usually <10 mg/L)
(10-25 mg/L)
(>25 mg/L)
Total nitrogen content<300 g/L300-600 g/L>600 g/L
Total phosphorus<10 g/L10-30 g/L>30 g/L
Chlorophyll a<2 g/L2-5 g/L>5 g/L
Macrophyte diversityMany submerged spp. but low biomass, few/no floaters, emergentsMany submerged, floating & emergent spp. & high biomassFew submerged sp; many floaters, emergents with high biomass
Profundal benthic diversityHigh diversity
(Log2) >3
Moderate diversity
(Log2) =1-3
Low, mean diversity
(Log2) <1
Profundal indicator speciesPisidium conventus, Sphaerium nitidum, Tubifex kessleri, Peloscolex variegatum, Diporeia hoyi, Mysis relicta, Hexagenia limbataSeveral tubificid spp., Pisidium casertanum, Sphaerium corneum, Caecidotea (Asellus) spp., several chironomid spp.Tubifex tubifex, Limnodrilus hoffmeisteri, Chironomus plumosus
Profundal fish diversityMany salmonids, white fish and cottidsA few salmonids & cottids, walleye, pike, bass, gizzard shad abundantCoarse fish (perch, carp, suckers, minnows) or none
Mean diversity d= -Σ(ni/N * log2 ni/N), where ni= number of specimens in species i and N= total number of specimens in sample.

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