Special Issue "Climate Change and Water Levels in the Great Lakes"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Water and Climate Change".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 21 November 2022 | Viewed by 1828

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Kevin B. Strychar
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Climate Change Studies of Aquatic & Marine Ecosystems, Annis Water Resources Institute, Grand Valley State University,131 Lake Michigan Center,740 W. Shoreline Dr., Muskegon, MI 49441-1678, USA
Interests: climate change; aquatic and marine ecology; flow cytometry; invasive species; benthic ecology
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In this Special Issue, titled “Climate Change and Water Levels in the Great Lakes,” we review, compare, and contrast the various changes and impacts to the Great Lakes, streams, rivers, coastal wetlands and associated watersheds. Approximately seven years ago, water levels were at record lows and predictions of water shortages appeared in various media outlets – but today water levels are at record highs and shoreline erosion is causing devastating property damage. The question is why the drastic change – and what are the associated implications both to environment and to the local populations? How will the water levels change over the next few years and comparatively, in the next decade? Is there any correlation to sea level rise? In this special edition, we hope to reflect on the past, assess the present, and predict the future of water changes in the Great Lakes.

Dr. Kevin B. Strychar
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Climate Change
  • Water Levels in the Great Lakes
  • Streams
  • Rivers
  • Coastal Wetlands
  • Watersheds
  • Shoreline Erosion
  • Pollution
  • Food Webs
  • Viral Ecology
  • Invasive Species

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Article
Proximity to Riparian Wetlands Increases Mercury Burden in Fish in the Upper St. Lawrence River
Water 2022, 14(1), 70; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14010070 - 01 Jan 2022
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Abstract
Mercury deposited in the Upper St. Lawrence River watershed by atmospheric deposition accumulated in riparian wetlands and is at risk of remobilization due to water level fluctuations. To examine if riparian wetlands are a source of mercury to fish, 174 yellow perch ( [...] Read more.
Mercury deposited in the Upper St. Lawrence River watershed by atmospheric deposition accumulated in riparian wetlands and is at risk of remobilization due to water level fluctuations. To examine if riparian wetlands are a source of mercury to fish, 174 yellow perch (Perca flavescens) and 145 round gobies (Neogobius melanostomus) were collected in 2019 from eight wetland and seven non-wetland habitats throughout the Upper St. Lawrence River. Mercury levels were significantly (p < 0.01) higher in fish collected from wetlands than those collected from non-wetland habitats for both yellow perch and round goby. Perch had mercury concentrations of 74.5 ± 35.4 ng/g dry wt in wetlands compared to 59.9 ± 23.0 ng/g dry wt in non-wetlands. Goby had mercury concentrations of 55.4 ± 13.8 ng/g dry wt in wetlands and non-wetland concentrations of 41.0 ± 14.0 ng/g dry wt. Riparian wetlands are areas of elevated mercury methylation and mobilization in the Upper St. Lawrence River and consequences to predators should be considered from the perspective of both wildlife preservation as well as fish consumption advisories for public health concerns. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Water Levels in the Great Lakes)
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Article
Changing Water Levels in Lake Superior, MI (USA) Impact Periphytic Diatom Assemblages in the Keweenaw Peninsula
Water 2021, 13(3), 253; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13030253 - 20 Jan 2021
Viewed by 726
Abstract
Predicted climate-induced changes in the Great Lakes include increased variability in water levels, which may shift periphyton habitat. Our goal was to determine the impacts of water level changes in Lake Superior on the periphyton community assemblages in the Keweenaw Peninsula with different [...] Read more.
Predicted climate-induced changes in the Great Lakes include increased variability in water levels, which may shift periphyton habitat. Our goal was to determine the impacts of water level changes in Lake Superior on the periphyton community assemblages in the Keweenaw Peninsula with different surface geology. At three sites, we identified periphyton assemblages as a function of depth, determined surface area of periphyton habitat using high resolution bathymetry, and estimated the impact of water level changes in Lake Superior on periphyton habitat. Our results suggest that substrate geology influences periphyton community assemblages in the Keweenaw Peninsula. Using predicted changes in water levels, we found that a decrease in levels of 0.63 m resulted in a loss of available surface area for periphyton habitat by 600 to 3000 m2 per 100 m of shoreline with slopes ranging 2 to 9°. If water levels rise, the surface area of substrate will increase by 150 to 370 m2 per 100 m of shoreline, as the slopes above the lake levels are steeper (8–20°). Since periphyton communities vary per site, changes in the surface area of the substrate will likely result in a shift in species composition, which could alter the structure of aquatic food webs and ecological processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Water Levels in the Great Lakes)
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