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Postsettlement diatom succession in the Bay of Quinte, Lake Ontario



Postsettlement diatom succession in the Bay of Quinte, Lake Ontario



Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences = Journal Canadien des Sciences Halieutiques et Aquatiques 42(4): 754-767



Siliceous algal microfossil assemblages deposited in the Bay of Quinte prior to European settlement consist of low numbers of benthic diatoms and chrysophyte cysts. Early settlement activities are marked by qualitative changes in the flora and small increases in microfossil flux. Events associated with the Ambrosia horizon produced a rapid transition from assemblages characteristic of oligotrophic environments to those characteristic of eutrophic waters and a large increase in microfossil flux. This was followed by a period of decreasing siliceous microfossil flux and reestablishment of less eutrophic species .apprx. 1853-1861. Minimum siliceous algal microfossil flux and highly atypical assemblages occurred in the period .apprx. 1879-1888, which corresponds to the period of intensive mining activities in the Bay of Quinte watershed. Maximum flux of siliceous microfossils occurred .apprx. 1900 and declined thereafter, although composition of assemblages deposited indicates increasing eutrophy and displacement of summer-blooming species. This is interpreted as evidence of beginning of summer silica limitation. Based on microfossil evidence, the modern eutrophic flora of the bay was established by 1928.

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Accession: 019758785

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DOI: 10.1139/f85-097


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