Right Conditions, Wrong Algae: Water Quality Indicators and HABs

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Right Conditions, Wrong Algae: Water Quality Indicators and HABs

Researchers aim to predict critical amount of light and nutrient concentrations needed to produce harmful algal blooms (HABs).

Phytoplankton play an important role in challenges the Chesapeake Bay faces such as reduced water quality, decline in critical species, formation of harmful algal blooms (HABs), and low oxygen zones. Using chlorophyll a (chl a) variable fluorescence, Kimmy Rattan of Virginia Institute of Marine Science hopes to provide sensitive and rapid estimates of phytoplankton conditions. By looking at the nutrient status in the York River and the Chl a fluorescence measurements, Rattan will predict the critical amount of light and nutrient concentrations needed to produce HABs. The expected results will also provide essential information of estuarine ecosystem function and produce effective strategies for managing HABs.

Project Details: Kimmy Rattan (VIMS). Nutrient status of Phytoplankton in the York River Estuary: Evidence from new Chl a florescence methods.