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Long Point Area, Lake Erie: Impacts of Water Level Fluctuations on Wetland Vegetation and Fish Habitat

Linda Mortsch;Susan Doka, Peter Deadman, Raymond Cabrera, Erin Gertzen, Charles K. Minns
Development of plan performance indicators describing water-level impacts on wetland vegetation and fish communities in Long Point, Turkey Point and Inner Bay in the Long Point area, northern Lake Erie. Multiple performance indicators were developed describing changes in emergent wetland surface area, open water surface area, submerged aquatic vegetation surface area, and weighted suitable spawning habitat area (WSA) for four fish spawning guilds in Long Point Bay. The wetland vegetation metrics are calculated for individual years based on current/hypothetical and historical depths at Long Point, Turkey Point and Inner Bays. WSA is computed seasonally based on emergent and submergent vegetation, substrate composition, water depths, and water temperature (related to thermal window appropriate for spawning activity). Results show that Lake Superior regulation has a minimal affect on Lake Erie levels, but impacts due to climate-induced changes in water level regime could be significant.
Ecosystem PI 17: Wetland Vegetation, Long Point Area
Ecosystem PI 18: Submerged Aquatic Vegetation, Long Point
Ecosystem PI 19: Spawning habitat supply, Long Point Bay
Habitat Database and Coping Zones, Long Point Bay, Lake Erie
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Supporting Content (Show)
Main Topics
Lake Superior Regulation
Questions We Asked
What constitutes improved plan performance?
Does the plan reduce environmental impacts?
View all 3 questions we asked
How vulnerable are interest groups to extremes?
Key Findings
Plan 2012 will be more robust and provide important benefits compared to Plan 77A
Plan 2012 performs similar to Plan 77A under 20th century NBS
Ecosystems Evaluation
Performance Indicators
View all 3 tasks
Coping Zones