This is an NSERC-funded strategic project focused on lakes in Southwest Nova Scotia that are stressed by mink farming operations, as well as acidification, climate change, and land-use changes. This project involves partners from Queen’s University, Mount Allison University, the University of Ottawa, Dalhousie University, and Acadia University.
The overall research questions of this project include:
a) Are regional lakes becoming more eutrophic? If so, are mink farming operations a probable cause?
b) Are mink farming operations causing hypolimnetic oxygen declines (and therefore losses of fish habitat)?
c) Can we track the presence of mink farming operations to chemical signatures in the sediment record?
d) Are contaminants (including metals and persistent organic pollutants) present and/or increasing in the sediment record of regional lakes? Is there a link to the presence of mink farming operations?
e) How are multiple stressors (acidification, climate change) interacting to affect biological assemblages in regional lakes?
f) Are gulls transporting pollutants from mink farms (including nutrients, metals, and contaminants) to other systems?