Saturday, January 14, 2012
Friday, January 13, 2012
Monday, February 1, 2010
In my time with the Rondeau Watershed Coalition and the University of Guelph, I have had the opportunity to compile various WQM datasets and reports. Also, check out my Picasa Photostream for more about WQM and Rondeau Bay
...more to come
Over the past several years, I've been privileged to be able to contribute the the Environmental Management Program at the Ridgetown Campus, University of Guelph. One of the fun things we do in March is to go to Clear Creek Nature Preserve and practice benthic monitoring using a 1m^2 kicknet and a 3 min. kick. Deb Hills and Sandy MacDonald get a day off from teaching and we practice some applied science in a living laboratory. Here's an Excel spreadsheet that calculates Simpson and Shannon biodiversity, and species richness and evenness StreamSamples22_03_07.xls The data values from that year are already there and can be overwritten, as well Family Biotic index can be derived from the Tolerance values.
If you want to get a better feel for the way biodiversity values are affected by populations, heres a toy spreadsheet that gives a better sense of they way this works.
Rondeau Bay holds some interesting and beautiful surprises. Over the
past few years in my kayak, I've visited an expanding grove among the
west shore of the bay. In these warm, still evenings of July and
August, paddling northeast from Shrewsbury, one can find along the
shoreline, over an acre of yellow lotus (nelumbo lutea).
Southwestern Ontario is the extreme northern limit of its range.
Yellow Lotus can also be found at Cedar Beach, Walpole Island and the
grassy inlets of Lake St. Clair. It grows in still, warm shallow water
(up to 8 feet) from a muddy bottom.
Once established, the lotus spreads an extensive system of underground
stems, which produce large edible tubers. An important food source,
the yellow lotus was cultured and spread by first nations peoples
across Eastern North America centuries ago.
The flower lasts only 2 days and closes every night. After the petals
drop off, the conical seedpod continues to grow and eventually reaches
a diameter of about 3 inches. In its flat top are about 20 holes, each
containing a seed the size of a small pea.
By autumn the conical seed pods will have dried and fallen into the
water where they'll float, pointy end up, and eventually release the
hard, brown edible seeds. To germinate, the seeds hard exterior must
either be scraped (scarified), which happens due to wave action along
the Lake Erie shoreline at Cedar Beach or will spontaneously occur
after a dormancy of decades or even hundreds of years.
The large round leaves (between 12 and 18 inches) resemble lily pads
although some are held aloft, above the water by a rigid stalk. A
remarkable property of the upper surface of the leaves is that they
repel water so that water beads and rolls. Often within individual
drops, can be seen tiny swimming crustaceans, made plainly visible by
the lens-like shape of the drop.
Much of the lotus’ habitat has been threatened by siltation and other
water pollution, by dredging, hardening, and other shoreline
alterations and motor boat traffic through the groves. In Rondeau Bay
this grove is in a location relatively protected from wind and wave
In Buddhist traditions, the lotus symbolizes purification of the mind,
of speech and the body and the open blossom signifies enlightenment.