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As climate change-induced temperature warming and increased variability of precipitation events occur globally, it is becoming increasingly important to understand how these stressors affect lake ecosystems. Along with temperature and precipitation changes, continuing anthropogenic deposition of fertilizing nutrients are causing lake eutrophication (‘greening’), along with ‘browning’ from inflows of dissolved organic material, and salinization. I sought to characterize chemical and biological differences between two lakes in the lower Hudson Valley that are subject to such disturbances. The Twin Lakes of Elizaville, NY in southern Columbia County are two relatively small and deep lakes. Located less than five hundred meters apart, they experience the same climate. Though they are fairly understudied, it has been previously established that South Twin Lake (STL) has become far more salinized from road salts than North Twin Lake (NTL) due to local topography, while NTL is browner and has begun blooming annually with a potentially-harmful cyanobacteria. Between April to September, I collected monthly vertical profiles of temperature, dissolved oxygen, and conductivity to track changes in stratification. Every month I collected samples of the lake surfaces and metalimnetic oxygen-peaks, which contain deep chlorophyll maxima; I used these samples for analyses of various chemical, biological and physical attributes. Collectively, these data may reveal important differences between the lakes resulting from anthropogenic and natural disturbances.
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Harris, Benjamin Will, "Are the Twin Lakes Identical? A Limnological Comparison" (2021). Senior Projects Fall 2021. 6.
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