Deep Water Mixing Prevents Harmful Algal Bloom Formation: Implications for Managed Fisheries Refugia
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Inflows affect water quality, food web dynamics, and even the incidence of harmful algal blooms. It may be that inflows can be manipulated to create refuge habitat for biota trying to escape poor environmental conditions, such as fish populations in lakes during times of toxic Prymnesium parvum blooms. Water availability sometimes can be an issue, especially in arid climates, which limits this approach to management. Utilizing source water from deeper depths to displace surface waters, however, might effectively mimic inflow events. I test this notion by conducting in-lake mesocosm experiments with natural plankton communities where I manipulate hydraulic flushing. Results show that P. parvum cell density is reduced by 69%, and ambient toxicity completely ameliorates during pre-bloom conditions in the lake. During conditions of bloom development, population density is reduced by 53%, toxicity by 57%, and bloom proportions are never reached. There is minimal effect of these inflows on total phytoplankton and zooplankton biomass, and little effect on water quality. Shifts toward more rapidly growing phytoplankton taxa are observed, as are enhanced copepod nauplii. In other words, while inflows using deep waters suppress P. parvum bloom initiation and development, they are benign to other aspects of the lower food web and environment. The results from using deep lake water to suppress harmful algal blooms indicate this may be a promising management approach and further studies are recommended to test whether this mitigating effect can translate to a large-scale in-lake treatment.
SubjectManaged Fish Population
Harmful Algal Blooms
Hayden, Natanya Jeanne (2011). Deep Water Mixing Prevents Harmful Algal Bloom Formation: Implications for Managed Fisheries Refugia. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from