Primary Productivity in Meduxnekeag River, Maine, 2005

Scientific Investigations Report 2009-5029
Prepared in cooperation with the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians
By: , and 



During August and September 2005, dissolved oxygen, temperature, pH, specific conductance, streamflow, and light intensity (LI) were determined continuously at six sites defining five reaches on Meduxnekeag River above and below Houlton, Maine. These data were collected as input for a dual-station whole-stream metabolism model to evaluate primary productivity in the river above and below Houlton. The river receives nutrients and organic matter from tributaries and the Houlton wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). Model output estimated gross and net primary productivity for each reach. Gross primary productivity (GPP) varied in each reach but was similar and positive among the reaches. GPP was correlated to LI in the four reaches above the WWTP but not in the reach below. Net primary productivity (NPP) decreased in each successive downstream reach and was negative in the lowest two reaches. NPP was weakly related to LI in the upper two reaches and either not correlated or negatively correlated in the lower three reaches. Relations among GPP, NPP, and LI indicate that the system is heterotrophic in the downstream reaches. The almost linear decrease in NPP (the increase in metabolism and respiration) indicates a cumulative effect of inputs of nutrients and organic matter from tributaries that drain agricultural land, the town of Houlton, and the discharges from the WWTP.

Study Area

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Primary Productivity in Meduxnekeag River, Maine, 2005
Series title Scientific Investigations Report
Series number 2009-5029
DOI 10.3133/sir20095029
Edition -
Year Published 2009
Language ENGLISH
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Contributing office(s) Maine Water Science Center
Description iv, 17 p.
Time Range Start 2005-08-01
Time Range End 2005-09-30
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
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