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Abstract

This study involves a phytoplankton summer/autumn survey in 46 Virginia lakes and reservoirs during 2010-2012. A total of 307 taxa were identified which included several filamentous and colonial cyanabacteria in bloom concentrations. With the exception of one natural lake, the other sites sampled represent impoundments created decades ago, with the majority presently classified as meso- or eutrophic. Among the cyanobacteria were 6 known toxin producers (Anabaena circinalis, Anabaena spiroides, Aphanizomenon flos-aquae, Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii, Limnothrix redekei, and Microcystis aeruginosa). The study characterizes phytoplankton populations in these aging freshwater habitats taken from a large number of sites over a broad geographical extent in Virginia. The results portend future concerns for increased presence of less favorable algal populations in Virginia lakes and reservoirs, including an increased occurrence of algal blooms, and presence of potential harmful species.

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