The Role of Cattle-based Nitrogenous Waste as a Nutrient Source for Aquatic Food-webs

This research will explore how nutrients from cattle manure moves through aquatic ecosystems in a Saskatchewan agricultural landscape. Cattle with access to the banks of water ways have the ability to alter the health of water ways and the plants, bugs, and fish that inhabit them. Indicators of ecosystem health such as water quality, algae growth, benthic macro invertebrate community structure will be analyzed in areas with and without grazing cattle. The project will use natural fingerprints called stable isotope ratios that differ between nutrient inputs to quantify the extent nitrogen from cattle excretion is moving through the foodweb. The results of this study will help us better understand how to manage grazing cattle around water ways while improving and conserving aquatic ecosystems

Intern: 
Scout Butler-Siemens
Faculty Supervisor: 
Iain Phillips
Province: 
Saskatchewan
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