Interim report on ecological studies on the lower trophic levels of muskeg rivers within the Alberta oil sands environmental research program study area

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  • This project (AF 2.0.2) was conducted in 1977-78 as a planned complement of another project (AF 2.0.1) on invertebrate resources. The scope of this project was to investigate productivity in the oil sands region and it involved both baseline data collection and manipulation experiments. Artificial substrates were employed, water chemistry parameters were measured, taxonomic identifications were carried out, and productivity measurements were conducted in order to elucidate bacterial and algal productivity. Objectives set forth for the project were: 1. To determine the baseline numbers, biomass, taxonomic composition, and productivity of primary and secondary producers in the sediments, periphyton and suspended matter of muskeg rivers throughout the year; 2. To determine the input routes of organic and inorganic nutrients via groundwater, etc; 3. To determine the effects of siltation and stream substrate alterations upon primary productivity and total benthic respiration; and 4. To predict the effects of future oil sands development activities on the lower trophic levels of stream communities. The activity in the project was planned in the context of a program that would involve additional work in 1978-79.

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