Increased fluvial inputs of organic carbon and nutrients associated with human activities can lead to eutrophication in estuaries and coastal areas. This eutrophication can result in the proliferation of toxic or harmful algae and the development of hypoxic and acidified areas that threaten the health of the St. Lawrence River. The participants have resolved to evaluate and gain a better understanding of the contribution of fluvial inputs on hypoxia, acidification, and the appearance of toxic algae in the estuary.
Projects 2016 - 2021
Understand how organic matter contributes to hypoxia and acidification in the St. Lawrence Estuary
The waterways that empty into the St. Lawrence Estuary bring sediments and organic matter to the deep waters. The primary production (particularly the production of plankton in aquatic environments) usually generates organic matter that reaches the deep waters. In this area, this matter degrades and we observe a reduction of the oxygen concentration and acidification of the water. The zone can maintain aquatic life only difficultly.
During this project, our researchers will seek to better understand how organic matter contributes to hypoxia (lack of oxygen) and acidification in the deep waters of the St. Lawrence Estuary. They will try to specify the source of this dissolved and particulate organic matter and recommend, if possible, its reduction at the source.