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In 2011, Lake Erie experienced the largest harmful algal bloom in its recorded history, with a peak intensity over three times greater than any previously observed bloom. Here we show that long-term trends in agricultural practices are consistent with increasing phosphorus loading to the western basin of the lake, and that these trends, coupled with meteorological conditions in spring 2011, produced record-breaking nutrient loads. An extended period of weak lake circulation then led to abnormally long residence times that incubated the bloom, and warm and quiescent conditions after bloom onset allowed algae to remain near the top of the water column and prevented flushing of nutrients from the system. We further find that all of these factors are consistent with expected future conditions. If a scientifically guided management plan to mitigate these impacts is not implemented, we can therefore expect this bloom to be a harbinger of future blooms in Lake Erie.


Michalak, Anna M.;  Anderson, Eric J.;  Beletsky, Dmitry;  Boland, Steven;  Bosch, Nathan S.;  Bridgeman, Thomas B.;  Chaffin, Justin D.;  Cho, Kyunghwa;  Confesor, Rem;  Daloglu, Irem;  DePinto, Joseph V.;  Evans, Mary Anne;  Fahnenstiel, Gary L.;  He, Lingli;  Ho, Jeff C.;  Jenkins, Liza;  Johengen, Thomas H.;  Kuo, Kevin C.;  LaPorte, Elizabeth;  Liu, Xiaojian;  McWilliams, Michael R.;  Moore, Michael R.;  Posselt, Derek J.;  Richards, R. Peter;  Scavia, Donald;  Steiner, Allison L.;  Verhamme, Ed;  Wright, David M.;  Zagorski, Melissa A.

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  • Abstract, title and references ● Is the aim clear? Yes ● Is it clear what the study found and how they did it? Yes ● Is the title informative and relevant? Yes ● Are the references: ● Relevant? Yes ● Recent? Yes ● Referenced correctly? Yes ● Are appropriate key studies included? Yes Introduction/ background ● Is it clear what is already known about this topic? Yes ● Is the research question clearly outlined? Yes ● Is the research question justified given what is already known about the topic? Yes Methods ● Is the process of subject selection clear? Yes ● Are the variables defined and measured appropriately? Yes ● Are the study methods valid and reliable? To some Extent ● Is there enough detail in order to replicate the study? Yes Results ● Is the data presented in an appropriate way? Yes ● Tables and figures relevant and clearly presented? Yes ● Appropriate units, rounding, and number of decimals? Yes ● Titles, columns, and rows labelled correctly and clearly? Yes ● Categories grouped appropriately? Yes ● Does the text in the results add to the data or is it repetitive? repetitive ● Are you clear about what is a statistically significant result? Yes ● Are you clear about what is a practically meaningful result? Yes Discussion and Conclusions ● Are the results discussed from multiple angles and placed into context without being over interpreted? Yes ● Do the conclusions answer the aims of the study? To some extent ● Are the conclusions supported by references or results? Yes ● Are the limitations of the study fatal or are they opportunities to inform future research? Needs Future Research.

  • The title of the article is informative, the article is written on an actual topic. The process of choosing the subject of research is absolutely clear. The research methodology is clearly defined, which allows other scientists to repeat this process. Research methods are justified and reliable. The article describes this fact. that in 2011, lake Erie experienced the largest harmful algal bloom in its recorded history. It was noted that long-term trends in agricultural practices are consistent with an increase in the phosphorus load in the Western lake basin, and that these trends, combined with meteorological conditions in the spring of 2011, led to record nutrient loads. If a science-based management plan to mitigate these effects is not implemented, we can expect this bloom to be a harbinger of future blooms in lake Erie. Research data is presented accordingly. The results of the study are considered and discussed from different points of view. The findings are consistent with the research goals and supported by the results obtained. References to literary sources correspond to the topic, reflect the key points of research, and use modern sources. All links are provided in accordance with the requirements of the journal that published the article.

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