Event Title

Algal Community Composition and Water Quality in an Urban Tidal Tributary

Presentation Type

Event

Disciplines

Biology | Hydrology | Marine Biology

Description/Abstract

Knitting Mill Creek is an urban sub-tributary of the Lafayette River in Norfolk, VA prone to algal blooms and water quality impairments. Bloom initiation and phytoplankton succession were assessed by collecting water samples 2-3 times per week from May through August, 2015. Physical and chemical parameters (water, temperature, salinity, 10 pH, dissolved oxygen, Secchi depth, chlorophyll fluorescence, total nitrogen, and total phosphorus) were measured along with analyses of algal species composition. Significant heterogeneity in vertical structure was detected, with subsurface Chla 2-3x surface concentrations in some cases, indicating limitations of traditional surface monitoring. A total of 48 phytoplankton species were identified in Knitting Mill Creek during the study, dinoflagellates were the dominant group present, and among the dinoflagellates observed was the harmful algal bloom (HAB) forming species, Cochlodinium polykrikoides. Cochlodinium is responsible for extensive blooms throughout the lower Chesapeake Bay region when water conditions are favorable. Cochlodinium was present in Knitting Mill Creek for 10 weeks with peak blooms occurring mid-June, mid-July, and early August followed by a decrease in biomass. Further applications of this study could be used to monitor other urban tributaries to assess water quality based on algal species composition dominated by species that cause harmful algal blooms.

Comments

Faculty Mentor: Dr. T. A. Egerton

Location

Learning Commons @ Perry Library, Conference Room 1310

Start Date

13-2-2016 9:00 AM

End Date

13-2-2016 10:00 AM

Full Text of Presentation

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Feb 13th, 9:00 AM Feb 13th, 10:00 AM

Algal Community Composition and Water Quality in an Urban Tidal Tributary

Learning Commons @ Perry Library, Conference Room 1310

Knitting Mill Creek is an urban sub-tributary of the Lafayette River in Norfolk, VA prone to algal blooms and water quality impairments. Bloom initiation and phytoplankton succession were assessed by collecting water samples 2-3 times per week from May through August, 2015. Physical and chemical parameters (water, temperature, salinity, 10 pH, dissolved oxygen, Secchi depth, chlorophyll fluorescence, total nitrogen, and total phosphorus) were measured along with analyses of algal species composition. Significant heterogeneity in vertical structure was detected, with subsurface Chla 2-3x surface concentrations in some cases, indicating limitations of traditional surface monitoring. A total of 48 phytoplankton species were identified in Knitting Mill Creek during the study, dinoflagellates were the dominant group present, and among the dinoflagellates observed was the harmful algal bloom (HAB) forming species, Cochlodinium polykrikoides. Cochlodinium is responsible for extensive blooms throughout the lower Chesapeake Bay region when water conditions are favorable. Cochlodinium was present in Knitting Mill Creek for 10 weeks with peak blooms occurring mid-June, mid-July, and early August followed by a decrease in biomass. Further applications of this study could be used to monitor other urban tributaries to assess water quality based on algal species composition dominated by species that cause harmful algal blooms.