Biomass of the Cyanobacterium Lyngbya wollei Alters Copper Algaecide Exposure and Risks to a Non-target Organism

  • West M. BishopEmail author
  • Ben E. Willis
  • W. Gregory Cope
  • Robert J. Richardson


Nuisance algal infestations are increasing globally in distribution and frequency. Copper-based algaecides are routinely applied to control these infestations, though there is an ever-present concern of risks to non-target species. This research evaluated risks associated with a commonly applied chelated copper algaecide (Captain® XTR; SePRO Corporation) to a sentinel non-target species (Daphnia magna) and further assessed alteration of the exposure and toxicity when a nuisance mat-forming cyanobacterium, Lyngbya wollei, was present in exposures. Aqueous copper concentrations in treatments with algae significantly decreased within 1 h after treatment and averaged 57.5% of nominal amended Cu through the experiment duration. The 48 h LC50 values were 371 µg Cu/L with no algae present in exposures and increased significantly to 531 µg Cu/L when L. wollei was simultaneously exposed. This research provides information on the short-term fate of copper and hazard assessment by incorporating targeted binding ligands, as present in operational treatments.


Copper Cyanobacteria Algaecide Lyngbya wollei Management 



The authors thank Brooke Konkle and Hasan Hasan for technical and analytical support.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

First and second authors are employed by SePRO Corporation.

Ethical Approval

All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.SePRO Research and Technology CampusWhitakersUSA
  2. 2.Department of Applied EcologyNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA
  3. 3.Department of Crop and Soil SciencesNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA

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