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Yellowstone's Destabilized EcosystemElk Effects, Science, and Policy Conflict$
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Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195148213

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195148213.001.0001

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Influences on Ecosystem Function II: Historical Perturbations in Small Lake Basins

Influences on Ecosystem Function II: Historical Perturbations in Small Lake Basins

Chapter:
(p.231) 12 Influences on Ecosystem Function II: Historical Perturbations in Small Lake Basins
Source:
Yellowstone's Destabilized Ecosystem
Author(s):

Wayne L. Hamilton

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195148213.003.0012

Reanalysis of previously published data on trends in sedimentation rates over time in eight small lakes in the northern range shows variations associated with elevation and character of lake basin (kettle lakes or lakes in slide-deposit terrain) that must be taken into account in evaluating whether sedimentation rates have changed over time in response to increases in the elk herd. Total sedimentation rates and those of allogenic silica increased in most lakes between park establishment and the 1980s-1990s. Total organic sedimentation rates, and those of biogenic silica and phosphorus, increased during park history indicating eutrophication. Two species of diatoms characteristic of eutrophic conditions increased during park history in three of five lakes. Although more comprehensive research is needed on this question, an increase in the northern herd is the most probable hypothesis to explain the evidence from this preliminary study.

Keywords:   kettle lakes, slide-deposit lakes, sedimentation rates, inorganics, organics, silica, phosphorus, diatoms, eutrophication

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