Research Seminar: Assessing Chemical and Biological Recovery From Acid Deposition in Montane Vermont Lakes

In this video, Sydney Diamond, MS graduate, and Mindy Morales-Williams, assistant professor, both of the University of Vermont Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, presented research on the response of phytoplankton communities to the interacting effects of recovery from acidification and climate change in in four of Vermont’s acid-impaired lakes. They found that as pH and acid-neutralizing capacity has increased, so have concentrations of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in most lakes.

Regarding biological responses, they found that phytoplankton community composition varied seasonally within and between lakes but was generally dominated by chrysophytes, chlorophytes, and diatoms. They found low concentrations of potentially bloom-forming cyanobacteria at all sites (Pseudanabaena spp., Microcystis spp.) but did not observe bloom events during the study period. Paleolimnological analyses indicate that the largest shift in diatom community composition has occurred over the last 30 years in Beaver Pond but that modern assemblages are different than those that were present pre-acidification, suggesting a new ecological trajectory as aquatic systems face increased climate pressures.

This seminar is part of the Lake Champlain Sea Grant Research Seminar Series; it took place on September 29, 2021.