Long-term trends in lake-wide phytoplankton productivity in the Upper Great Lakes: 1998-2013

Document Type

Conference Paper/Presentation

Publication Date



Lake-wide estimates of phytoplankton productivity in the Great Lakes are almost non-existent due to their large size and limited sampling. In order to overcome these limitations, a field-validated remote sensing approach was used to estimate lake-wide phytoplankton productivity for lakes Superior, Huron and Michigan. The Great Lakes Primary Production Model (GLPPM)(slight modification of original Fee model) was used to provide areal and volumetric estimates of primary production using satellite-derived measures of KdPAR, chlorophyll, and temperature. Photosynthetic irradiance parameters (Pmax and alpha) were estimated using empirical models based on historical measurements and simple satellite derived input variables (i.e., temperature, Julian Day, depth, season, etc.). Modeled production estimates revealed large production changes in lakes Huron and Michigan but not Lake Superior. These changes and their relationship to important drivers (i.e., nutrients, mussels, climate change, etc.) will be discussed.

Publisher's Statement

© 2015 The authors.

Publication Title

IAGLR 58th Annual Conference on Great Lakes Research