Trace Element & Nutrient Retention and Release from Ontario Greenhouse Retention Ponds

Tributaries adjacent to greenhouse operations in Leamington, Ontario were found in 2012 to have elevated levels of phosphorus. The objective of this research is to identify the source of elevated nutrients in greenhouse ponds by collecting water and sediment samples over the course of 2 years. These samples will be analyzed to find linkages between nutrients found within the ponds and the surrounding environment. We will be able to draw conclusions on which ponds are behaving as a source for phosphorus, and which ones a sink, as well as whether the elevated concentrations are from ongoing contributions or from a saturation of the sediment. The relevance for the partnership will be an understanding as to why some ponds are not meeting ministry standards for nutrient concentrations and steps they can take to correct the issues. These methods could be applied on a larger scale to address eutrophication of Lake Erie.

Intern: 
Emily Varga
Faculty Supervisor: 
Christopher Weisener;Scott Mundle
Province: 
Ontario
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Partner University: 
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