SI2019-A-4: Examining potential and ideal aquatic biomonitoring protocols for freshwater ponds of Sable Island National Park Reserve – Frederica Jacks, BSc

Sable Island is a remote, sandy island located in the Atlantic Ocean, approximately 180km off the eastern coast of mainland Nova Scotia. In 2013, this 40km-long, crescent-shaped sandbar became Sable Island National Park Reserve (SINPR) under the Parks Canada Agency. As a national park, the federal government has a responsibility to maintain the ecological integrity of this unique ecosystem through research and monitoring. The disappearance of several SINPR freshwater ponds since the late 1900s has made these aquatic ecosystems of particular interest in recent years. The objective of this project is to examine and apply biological and cross-park monitoring considerations to provide recommendations for potential future aquatic biomonitoring protocols on SINPR. On three separate occasions in the summer of 2019, kick sampling was performed in the twelve freshwater ponds which are part of SINPR’s monitoring program. Three transects were sampled in each pond using the kick method in each month of May, July, and August. Benthic invertebrates were obtained from collected samples and are currently being identified and further processed to provide an analysis of organism abundance and diversity. Additionally, aquatic management protocols within Parks Canada and other parks found in similar environments internationally will be comparatively analyzed for relevant SINPR ecological monitoring program recommendations.