Canada has more lakes than any other country. They are a precious resource, and we rely on them for many things, including drinking water, food, recreation and a variety of economic, social and cultural activities. But across Canada, the ability of lakes to play their ecological role is being compromised by the impacts of human activity, such as domestic, agricultural and industrial pollution and climate change. To be able to protect Canadian lakes, we must answer the following questions.
To answer these questions, the NSERC Canadian Lake Pulse Network will be conducting multidisciplinary research over the next five years.
The NSERC Canadian Lake Pulse Network brings together 18 researchers from 15 Canadian universities and partner researchers from across Canada and around the world. Their complementary areas of expertise include all aspects of limnology (lake science), as well as spatial modelling, analytical chemistry, public health, remote sensing and a number of other disciplines. The network’s researchers will be working closely with scientists from several provincial and territorial environment ministries, a number of federal departments and agencies, and Ouranos, a Quebec-based consortium on regional climatology.
The network’s scientific work will be steered by a scientific committee composed of senior researchers who are network members, as well as other researchers who work with it as partners or as international advisors. The network will be overseen and advised by a board of directors representing its stakeholders.
To help its partners fulfill their role of lake stewardship, the network will attempt to answer the following four key research questions.
To answer these questions, the network will obtain a large database of lake characteristics and changes in them. Because the drivers of change and the responses of lakes are spatially heterogeneous, the network will rely heavily on extensive sampling and on the existing data sets developed by its partners, applying geomatic and spatial modelling tools to extrapolate local and regional results to larger scales.
The outcomes that the network hopes to provide will directly benefit the stewardship of Canadian lakes while advancing the science of limnology. These outcomes include:
The database and other outcomes will be posted publicly on an interactive website so that scientists can use them to map various indexes and parameters for individual lakes across Canada.
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