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Developing approaches for quantifying freshwater nutrient criteria

Project Co-Leads: Kendra Spence Cheruvelil and Patricia A. Soranno

Several years ago, we were invited to be members of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Nutrient Criteria Working Group to develop a new tool to quantify nutrient criteria in lakes and streams. This tool is a landscape model based on our principles of landscape limnology that quantitatively predicts nutrient standards for each lake in the state using available GIS data (Soranno et al. 2008). We have also worked with the Fond du Lac and Grand Portage Band Reservations in Minnesota to develop nutrient standards in tribal waters for each reservation. More recently, one of us (Kendra Cheruvelil) led the effort to revise our 2008 model for the state of Michigan to better manage water quality in its lakes. Her manuscript on this work is in preparation.

To date, we have published the following in this area:

Soranno, P.A., T. Wagner, S.L. Martin, C. McLean, L.N. Novitski, C. Provence, and A.R. Rober. 2011. Quantifying regional reference conditions for freshwater ecosystem management: a comparison of approaches and future research needs. Lake and Reservoir Management. 27(2):138-148. PDF

Soranno, P.A., K.S. Cheruvelil, R.J. Stevenson, S.L. Rollins, S.W. Holden, S. Heaton, and E.K. Torng. 2008. A framework for developing ecosystem-specific nutrient criteria: Integrating biological thresholds with predictive modeling. Limnology and Oceanography 53(2): 773-787. (Available free online) PDF

Funding: Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Michigan Department of Natural Resources