Measuring the Effect of Flood Pulses on Ecosystem Function in Lakes Created by Mining (Kickapoo State Recreation Area)

Heavy rainfall can change water quality and food webs in lakes. These changes can decrease their aesthetic value and harm tourism. Heavy rainfall has increased recently. It can wash pesticides from farms into rivers and lakes. We studied four lakes in Kickapoo State Recreation Area. We collected water after heavy rainfall. We then measured levels of pesticide runoff from farms into the lakes from the water samples. We also measured pesticides in the Middle Fork River. We found that pesticides were present in many of the water samples. The decrease in water quality can harm animals that live in these waters. We collected animals from the lakes as well. We are studying the communities in the lakes to measure changes after the rainfall. Many people use the lakes and river we studied for recreation. Our results can inform management of the waters to keep them safe. People and food webs may be harmed by increases in pesticides in these waters. We will continue our research to learn more about these effects.

  • PI: Carla Cáceres
  • PI Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • September 1, 2022 – August 31, 2023