Water and sediment quality, nutrient biochemistry and pollution loads in an urban freshwater lake: balancing human and ecological services

Waltham, Nathan J., Reichelt-Brushett, Amanda, McCann, Damian, and Eyre, Bradley D. (2014) Water and sediment quality, nutrient biochemistry and pollution loads in an urban freshwater lake: balancing human and ecological services. Environmental Science Processes and Impacts, 16 (12). pp. 2804-2813.

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Abstract

Optimizing the utility of constructed waterways as residential development with water-frontage, along with a productive and functional habitat for wildlife is of considerable interest to managers. This study examines Lake Hugh Muntz, a large (17 ha) freshwater lake built in Gold Coast City, Australia. A ten year water quality monitoring programme shows that the lake has increasing nutrient concentrations, and together with summer algal blooms, the lake amenity as a popular recreational swimming and triathlon training location is at risk. A survey of fish and aquatic plant communities showed that the lake supports a sub-set of species found in adjacent natural wetlands. Sediment contaminants were below the lower Australian trigger values, except As, Hg, Pb and Zn, probably a function of untreated and uncontrolled stormwater runoff from nearby urban roads. Sediment biogeochemistry showed early signs of oxygen depletion, and an increase in benthic organic matter decomposition and oxygen consumption will result in more nitrogen recycled to the water column as NH(4)+ (increasing the intensity of summer algal blooms) and less nitrogen lost to the atmosphere as N(2) gas via denitrification. A series of catchment restoration initiatives were modeled and the optimal stormwater runoff restoration effort needed for lake protection will be costly, particularly retrospective, as is the case here. Overall, balancing the lifestyles and livelihoods of residents along with ecosystem protection are possible, but require considerable trade-offs between ecosystem services and human use.

Item ID: 37959
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
ISSN: 2050-7895
Funders: Gold Coast City Council
Date Deposited: 20 Mar 2015 01:39
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050206 Environmental Monitoring @ 30%
09 ENGINEERING > 0907 Environmental Engineering > 090701 Environmental Engineering Design @ 30%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050205 Environmental Management @ 40%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960503 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Coastal and Estuarine Environments @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960511 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Urban and Industrial Environments @ 50%
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