This report is intended for audiences who are familiar with the USEPA’s Open Lake Water Quality
Survey of the Great Lakes. Those unfamiliar with the project are directed to
http://www.epa.gov/glnpo/monitoring/sop for a detailed background of the overall project goals, ideology
and methods. This report fulfils the task of “Preliminary Report” (due July 28, 2009) as agreed in contract
Results herein focus on 2007 phytoplankton data from GLNPO’s Great Lakes open water biological
monitoring program. The main objectives of this report are to (1) present general characteristics of the
2007 phytoplankton assemblages, (2) reconstruct long-term phytoplankton trends in the context of
phytoplankton data collected prior to 2000, and (3) use various observational and statistical techniques to
confirm that data quality objectives, mainly taxonomic consistency, have been met.
Since the initiation of the University of Minnesota Duluth’s (UMD) involvement in the monitoring
program, significant efforts have been allocated to taxonomic assurance. Following the transition of the
project to a new contractor in 2001, several data quality issues related to inconsistencies in taxonomic
identifications arose resulting in temporary termination of the phytoplankton program in 2004. Part of
UMD’s agreement was to ensure that the new phytoplankton data collected in 2007 meet specific
taxonomic criteria. In other words, taxonomy for 2007 needed to match that from pre-2000 samples so
that long-term analyses were reliable. It is our opinion that we have met taxonomic criteria and that, with
continued taxonomic workshops, we are building a reliable long-term phytoplankton database that will be
a valuable tool to track ecological shifts in the lakes.
Reavie, Euan D.
Mid-project Data Report: Phytoplankton Monitoring in the Great Lakes.
University of Minnesota Duluth.
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