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Characterization of the diatom flora of Tursujuq Park, Nunavik, Canada

The development of tourism in the Tursujuq Park (Nunavik) could impact the balance of lake ecosystems. Before analyzing the biological indicators such as diatoms, it is first necessary to identify the species present in the different lakes. The main objective of this research project is to carry out a characterization of the diatom flora of the Tursujuq Park. This work should allow to get a global vision of the spatial variations in the current composition in the diatom communities in the various lakes of the park. Therefore, all species must be documented by photos taken by a high-resolution microscope (1000x) for each lake in order to observe their variability in presence and abundance.

This study is part of a broader research project including counting of diatoms and analyzes of water chemistry (e.g., pH, ions, metals, oxygen) from samples taken from the water columns of the park’s different lakes in the summer 2015. This research should allow to build a transfer function and carry out statistical analyzes to highlight relationship between species and changes of physical and chemical conditions of the lakes. These studies focusing on the different physico-chemical and biological characteristics of the lakes will provide tools for bio-monitoring the changes caused by tourist activities in the park.

This research project should provide a first overview of the internal characteristics of the watershed which varies intra and inter sectors (geology, vegetation, land use; climate) and the differences between the lakes (depth, area, formation) given that the lake reference conditions are different. The diatom flora should therefore be rich in species. In addition, the diatom assemblages should vary from one lake to another depending on their reference conditions.