Ibis Pond A case study in eutrophication - BHIC.org

Ibis Pond A case study in eutrophication - BHIC.org

IBIS POND A CASE STUDY IN EUTROPHICATION Lauryn Kabrich Education Intern August 9, 2016 INITIAL INTEREST May 24, 2016: Training for Ibis Sanctuary Tour Goals: Monitor Ecosystem

Mitigation Proposal Eutrophication Lesson BACKGROUND INFORMATION The development of eutrophic conditions and correlations to duckweed blooms DUCKWEED Rapidly reproducing aquatic weed that grows in colonies

Able to grow in a variety of conditions with large tolerance thresholds High nutritional value, with more protein than soybeans Attaches to birds and other animals when moving between ponds EUTROPHICATION

Process in which an increase in nutrient concentrations causes a body of water to become more well-nourished. Nutrient increase results in a more productive ecosystem, potentially to the point that it becomes detrimental. Nutrient input can be due to natural or artificial sources from a variety of origins. Nitrogen and phosphorus are the two key limiting reagents in aquatic systems. DECOMPOSITION Electron flow schematic of catabolism Organic matter breakdown utilizes oxygen in order to produce energy DEVELOPMENT OF OXYGEN DEPLETION

Unfavorable Physical Environment Seasonal Changes Warm water=less D.O. Lack of water movement Nutrient Overloading White Ibis migrate north as

temps rise Correspondin g increase in defecation in the pond Waters Become Eutrophic Large blooms of duckweed occur Duckweed multiplies at rapid pace with increased number of

plants Insufficient D.O. Duckweed dies faster than it can be consumed High amount of decomposing organic matter IMPLICATIONS OF INCREASED SALINITY Salt water intrusion detected in wells surrounding Ibis Sanctuary

Hypothesis: Increased salinity killed some salt-sensitive species of fish and other aquatic organisms Less consumers to maintain duckweed levels Duckweed population was allowed to grow unchecked Result: Duckweed bloom worse than previous summer seasons NOTABLE THRESHOLDS SALINITY Per the United States Geological Survey (USGS): Freshwater: less than 1,000 ppm Slightly Saline: 1,000-3,000

ppm Moderately Saline: 3,00010,000 ppm Highly Saline: 10,000-35,000 ppm DISSOLVED OXYGEN Hypoxic: 2-4 mg/L Hypoxia is oxygen deficiency in a biotic environment, at a level that is detrimental to organisms. Anoxic: 0-2 mg/L Anoxia is the absence of oxygen in a biotic environment. IMPORTANCE OF MONITORING

Eutrophic aquatic systems are more susceptible to other environmental problems Deteriorating aquatic health can result in an overall loss of biodiversity Aquatic weeds can harbor the vectors of human and animal diseases Desire to maintain a hospitable migratory habitat for White Ibis and other wading birds and potential habitat for otter, turtles, alligators, etc. Ibis Sanctuary Tour is very popular and generates significant revenue for the Conservancy DATA Collected June-July 2016 RESEARCH PROTOCOL Collect data using YSI system once per week in early evening

Parameters obtained: Dissolved oxygen (% and mg/L) Salinity (ppt) pH Water temperature (C) 2 sampling locations: Location 1: Main vantage point on east side on pond Location 2: Small opening on far south end of pond RESEARCH PROTOCOL CONT. Obtain extended measurement at both sampling locations Utilize golf ball retriever to get the offshore data

YSI should remain submerged for 60 seconds, to allow values to stabilize Obtain water sample from Location 1 in test tube In lab, utilize nitrate test kit Convert nitrate readings to nitrogen in water JUNE 9, 2016 6/9/2016 Location Location 1 2 D.O. (%) Time: 5pm 22.1

5.8 1.751 0.47 Salinity (ppt) 1.71 1.71 Nitrates (mg/L NO3-) pH

8.79 8.63 Nitrates (mg/L N) Water Temp (C) 26.8 25.6 D.O. (mg/L) Weather: 80F, sunny 20 4.518

JUNE 9, 2016 Sampling Location 1 Minimal avian presence, with low diversity White Ibises are sole species observed JUNE 15, 2016 6/15/2016 Location Location 1 2 D.O. (%) D.O. (mg/L) Salinity (ppt)

10.1 0.78 6.3 0.49 2.1 1.86 pH Water Temp (C) 8.92 8.54

28.1 27.2 Extended Extende 1 d2 D.O. (%) 3.4 2.4 D.O. (mg/L) 0.25 0.19 Salinity (ppt) 1.93

1.87 pH 8.71 8.37 Water Time: 5pm Weather: 82F, rain storm previous evening/showers in early afternoon Nitrates (mg/L NO3-) Nitrates (mg/L N) 4 0.9036

JUNE 15, 2016 Sampling Location 1 Despite heavy rains the previous night, duckweed appears thicker than week before JUNE 22, 2016 6/22/2016 Location 1Location 2 D.O. (%) D.O. (mg/L) Salinity (ppt) pH Water Temp (C)

0 3.8 0 0.3 1.96 1.81 8.76 8.44

27.1 26.3 Time: 6:30pm Weather: 81F, sunny, windy Nitrates (mg/L NO3-) Nitrates (mg/L N) 5 1.1295 Note: Found a freshly cleaned saltwater clam at T1suspected that it was dumped there

D.O. (%) D.O. (mg/L) Salinity (ppt) Extended Extended 1 2 7.5 6.4 0.56 0.51 1.91

1.93 JUNE 22, 2016 Sampling Location 1 Noted that had to toss YSI further out, as the water near the bank had become shallower JUNE 22, 2016 Sampling Location 2 Duckweed is slightly less concentrated in this areamay be due to the greater tree cover in this area, resulting in lower temperatures and thus slower plant growth JULY 5, 2016

7/5/2016 Location Location 1 2 D.O. (%) D.O. (mg/L) Salinity (ppt) n/a n/a n/a n/a

pH Water Temp (C) D.O. (%) D.O. (mg/L) Salinity 1.98 1.73 8.53 8.31

30.3 28.6 Extended Extended 1 2 n/a n/a n/a n/a Time: 4:45pm Weather: 87F, heat advisory (heat index 99F) Nitrates (mg/L

NO3-) Nitrates (mg/L N) 6 1.3554 Note: D.O. sensor broken on YSI--this is why no measurements were taken last week Note: 2 loons (or possible ducks!!) spotted across the pond JULY 28, 2016 Sampling Location 1 Visual on alligator Adult, approximately 8 feet Juvenile, approximately 2 feet

JULY 28, 2016 Sampling Location 1 Infilling is now occurring on both east and west ends of the pond Signs of infilling first noted June 22 ENVIRONMENTAL MITIGATION PROPOSAL Possible methodologies to return duckweed to manageable levels GOALS OF MITIGATION Increase dissolved oxygen concentration, to sustain a greater amount of aquatic fauna Reduce duckweed cover

Make pond more aesthetically pleasing, to make area more enjoyable for patrons of the Conservancy/reduce concern regarding the area Conditions: Do not disturb wading birds Do not use aquatic herbicides POTENTIAL SOLUTION Combination of methodologies: Mechanical Skimming Bubble Aeration Biological Stocking pond Triploid Grass Carp

MECHANICAL SKIMMER Manual removal to reduce biomass load Less duckweed will allow for easier control when subsequent mitigation techniques are implemented Cost: ~$140 BUBBLE AERATION Pond is extremely stagnant, so need an alternate method to encourage reaeration Smaller bubbler system is preferable to a fountain, so as to not disturb wildlife Cost: Varies, depending on type of system used

BIOLOGICAL CONTROL Using an organism as a mitigation method provides a sustainable, longterm solution Stocking the pond with fish will help to maintain a manageable level of duckweed, as they consume the plant Cost: ~$7 per fish BENEFITS OF TRIPLOID GRASS CARP Sterile, therefore will not reproduce Can eat up to 3x their weight daily Commonly used to successfully control aquatic plant growth Will provide 8-10 years of weed control Tolerant of wide range of salinity, pH, and temperature

Only requires 10-15 fish per acre Economically viable EDUCATIONAL DIMENSION Revamped Water Quality Curriculum & Eutrophication Lesson for Conservation Corps OVERVIEW Water Quality Week for Conservation Corps (ages 11-14) 2 day lesson, 9 hours of instructional time total Daily Schedule: Ice-breaker game Introduction of topics + interactive demonstrations Mini-lesson(s) on contemporary water issues Field work Water sample analysis

DAY 1 Introduction Game Water Droplet Fact Game Water Cycle Discussion Watershed Discussion Contemporary Water Issues Bottled Water Industry Fracking DAY 1 CONT.

Eutrophication Lesson Ibis Pond Data Collection Utilize prepared data sheet Campers learn how to operate YSI Obtain water sample In-lab data analysis Prepare slide for observation under microscope Test for nitrates DAY 2 Introduction Game Contemporary Water Issues Clean Water in Developing Nations LifeStraw Turbidity Explanation

DAY 2 CONT. Water Quality Data Collection Todays Locations: Marina, Creek Access, Villas Pond, & Shoals Measure Secchi depths for all locations except Shoals

In-lab Data Analysis Prepare slides for observation under microscope Test for nitrates QUESTIONS?

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