Recovery of benthic invertebrate communities from acidification in Killarney Park lakes Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Using a reference-condition comparison, recovery of benthic invertebrate communities from acidification was assessed in three lakes in Killarney Wilderness Park approximately 40-60 km from the massive metal smelters in Sudbury, Canada. Test site analyses (TSAs) were used to compare the park lakes to 20 reference lakes near Dorset Ontario, 200 km to the east. An extension of a previous survey (1997-2001) of two sensitive mayfly species (Stenonema femoratum and Stenacron interpunctatum) was conducted in one of the lakes. TSA results indicate that the three Killarney lakes remain significantly different from reference condition due primarily to higher abundances of a few acid-tolerant families and the presence of some less abundant sensitive families. Colonization rates differ greatly between the two mayfly species presumably because of competition for available habitat. Overall, this study suggests that early colonizers will gain an advantage to out-compete subsequent arrivals, and these competitive interactions will delay the return of communities to reference condition.


  • Emilson, Eric
  • Szkokan-Emilson, Erik J
  • Wesolek, Brian E
  • Gunn, John M
  • Sarrazin-Delay, Chantal
  • Bedore, Jenna
  • Chan, Farrah
  • Garreau, Deborah
  • O’Grady, Angela
  • Robinson, Chris

publication date

  • July 2010