, Volume 541, Issue 1, pp 29–43 | Cite as

Relationships between cyanobacterial production and the physical and chemical properties of a Midwestern Reservoir, USA

  • Shih-Hsien WangEmail author
  • Andrew R. Dzialowski
  • Justin O. Meyer
  • Frank deNoyellesJr.
  • Niang-Choo Lim
  • William W. Spotts
  • Donald G. Huggins


Drinking water reservoirs in agricultural dominated watersheds are particularly vulnerable to cyanobacterial blooms. A major byproduct of cyanobacteria is the production of objectionable taste and odor compounds such as geosmin. During May 1997 to September 1998, we studied spatial and temporal patterns of cyanobacterial abundance and composition with respect to a series of physical and chemical properties in Clinton Lake, located in east central Kansas, USA. Our results suggest that nutrients (in particular TN, NO3‘–N concentrations), turbidity, and hydrologic regime all played potentially important roles in regulating cyanobacterial production. Specifically, low levels of nitrogen coupled with the internal release of phosphorus from the lake sediment under brief periods of anoxia may have helped promote cyanobacterial blooms. There was also a strong association between cyanobacterial blooms, geosmin production, and most taste and odor events in Clinton Lake. Anabaena circinalis appeared to be the source for geosmin production as a result of senescing algal cells just after the primary die-off of cyanobacteria.


cyanobacteria TN:TP taste and odor geosmin reservoirs 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. American Public Health Association (APHA), 1995. Standard methods for the examination of water and wastewater,. 19th edn. Washington D.C.Google Scholar
  2. Caraco, N. F., Miller, R. 1998Effects of CO2 on competition between a cyanobacterium and eukaryotic planktonCanadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences555462CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Downing, J. A., McCauley, E. 1992The nitrogen:phosphorus relationship in lakesLimnology and Oceanography37936945Google Scholar
  4. Downing, J. A., Watson, S. B., McCauley, E. 1999Predicting cyanobacteria dominance in lakesCanadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences4619051908Google Scholar
  5. deNoyelles F., Wang S. H., Meyer J. O., Huggins D. G., Lennon J. T., Kolln W. S., Randtke S. J. (1999). Water quality issues in reservoirs: some considerations from a study of a large reservoir in Kansas. 49th Annual Conference of Environmental Engineering. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Division of Continuing Education, The University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS. p. 83–119.Google Scholar
  6. Ebina, J., Tsutsui, T., Shirai, T. 1983Simultaneous determination of total nitrogen and total phosphorus in water using peroxodisulfate oxidationWater Research1717211726CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Elser, J. J., Marzolf, E. R., Goldman, C. R. 1990Phosphorus and nitrogen limitation of phytoplankton growth in the freshwaters of North America: a review and critique of experimental enrichmentCanadian Journal of fisheries and aquatic sciences4714681477Google Scholar
  8. Elser, J. J. 1999The pathway to noxious cyanobacteria blooms in lakes: the food web as the final turnFreshwater Biology42537543CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Gonzalez, E. J. 2000Nutrient enrichment and zooplankton effects on the phytoplankton community in microcosms from El Andino reservoir (Venezuela)Hydrobiologia4348196CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Havens, K. E., Phlips, E. J., Cichra, M. F., Li, B. L. 1998Light availability as a possible regulator of cyanobacteria species composition in a shallow subtropical lakeFreshwater Biology39547556CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Havens, K. E., Walker, W. W. 2002Development of a total phosphorus concentration goal in the TMDL process for Lake Okeechobee, Florida (USA)Lake and Reservoir Management18227238Google Scholar
  12. Havens, K. E., James, R. T., East, T. L., Smith, V. H. 2003N:P ratios, light limitation, and cyanobacterial dominance in a subtropical lake impacted by non-point source nutrient pollutionEnvironmental Pollution122379390CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Horiba,  1991Instruction manual for U-10 water quality checkerHoriba Instruments Inc.Irvine, CA48Google Scholar
  14. Hyenstrand, P., Blomqvist, P., Pettersson, A. 1998Factors determining cyanobacterial success in aquatic systems – a literature reviewArchiv für Hydrobiologie. Spec. Issues; Advances in Limnology514162Google Scholar
  15. Hyenstrand P., Burkert U., Pettersson A., Blomqvist P. 200. Competition between the green alga Scenedesmus and the cyanobacterium Synechococcus under different modes of inorganic nitrogen supply. Hydrobiologia 435: 91–98.Google Scholar
  16. Jones, J. R., Knowlton, M. F. 1993Limnology of Missouri reservoirs: an analysis of regional patternsLake and Reservoir Management81730Google Scholar
  17. Johnston, B. R., Jacoby, J. M. 2003Cyanobacteria toxicity and migration in a mesotrophic lake in western Washington, USAHydrobiologia4957991CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kimmel, B. L., Lind, O. T., Paulson, L. J. 1990Reservoir primary productionThornton, K. W.Kimmel, B. L.Payne, F. E. eds. Reservoir Limnology: Ecological Perspectives.John Wiley and SonsNew York, NY133193Google Scholar
  19. Mankin, K.L., Wang, S.H., Koelliker, J.K., Huggins, D.G., deNoyelles, F.,Jr. 2003Watershed-lake water quality modeling: verification and applicationJournal of Soil and Water Conservation58188197Google Scholar
  20. Mataloni, G., Tesolin, G., Sacullo, F., Tell, G. 2000Factors regulating summer phytoplankton in a highly eutrophic Antarctic lakeHydrobiologia4326752CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Meyer, J. O. 1998Phytoplankton production and drinking water quality in Clinton LakeUniversity of KansasLawrence KSM.A. Thesis.Google Scholar
  22. Negro, A. I., Hoyos, C. D., Vega, J. C. 2000Phytoplankton structure and dynamics in Lake Sanabria and Valparaiso reservoir (NW Spain)Hydrobiologia4242537CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Oudra, B., Loudiki, M., Sbiyyaa, B., Sabour, B., Martins, R., Amorim, A., Vasconcelos, V. 2002Detection and variation of microcystin contents of Microcystisblooms in eutrophic Lalla Takerkoust Lake, MoroccoLakes and Reservoirs: Research and Management73544CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Presing, M., Herodek, S., Voros, L., Kobor, I. 1996Nitrogen fixation, ammonium and nitrate uptake during a bloom of Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii in Lake BalatonArchiv für Hydrobiologie136553562Google Scholar
  25. Saadoun, I.M.K., Schrader, K.K., Blevins, W.T. 2001Environmental and nutritional factors affecting geosmin synthesis by Anabaena spWater Research35120912181999CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Scheffer, M. 1998The abiotic environment. In Ecology of shallow lakesChapman and HallNew York, NY2526Google Scholar
  27. Seda, J., Hejzlar, J., Kubecka, J. 2000Trophic structure of nine Czech reservoirs regularly stocked with piscivorous fishHydrobiologia429141149CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Smith, V. H. 1983Low nitrogen to phosphorus ratios favor dominance by blue-green algae in lake phytoplanktonScience221669671Google Scholar
  29. Smith, V. H. 1998Cultural eutrophication of inland, estuarine, and coastal watersPace, M. L.Groffman, P. M. eds. Limitation and Frontiers in Ecosystem ScienceSpringer-VerlagNew York, NY749Google Scholar
  30. Smith, V. H., Bennett, S. J. 1999Nitrogen:phosphorus supply ratios and phytoplankton community structure in lakesArchiv fur Hydrobiologie1463753Google Scholar
  31. Smith, V. H., Tilman, G. D., Nekola, J. C. 1999Eutrophication: impacts of excess nutrient inputs on freshwater, marine, and terrestrial ecosystemsEnvironmental Pollution100179196CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. Smith, V. H., Sieber-Denlinger, J., deNoyelles, F., Campell, S., Pan, S., Randtke, S. J., Blain, G., Strasser, V. A. 2002Managing taste and odor problems in a eutrophic drinking water reservoirLake and Reservoir Management18319323Google Scholar
  33. Smith, V. H. 2003Eutrophication of freshwater and coastal marine ecosystems: a global problemEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research International10126139PubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. U.S. Army Corp. of Engineers, 1991. Reservoir siltation. In: Kansas Water Office Brief Paper. February 2000.Google Scholar
  35. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1988. Predicting lake water quality. In: The lake and reservoir restoration guidance manual. EPA 440/5-88-002. Office of Water, Criteria and Standard Division, Nonpoint Sources Branch, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C. 23 pp.Google Scholar
  36. Baalen, C. 1987Nitrogen fixationFay, P.Baalen, C. eds. The Cyanobacteria.ElsevierNew York, NY187198Google Scholar
  37. Walker W. W. 1985. Empirical methods for predicting eutrophication in impoundments; Report 3, Phase II: Model refinements, Technical Report E-81-9, U.S. Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station, Vicksburg, MS.Google Scholar
  38. Walker, W. W., Havens, K. E. 2003Development and application of a phosphorus balance model for Lake Istokpoga, FloridaLake and Reservoir Management197991Google Scholar
  39. Wang, S. H, Huggins, D. G., deNoyelles, F.,Jr., Kolln, W. S. 1999An analysis of the trophic state of Clinton LakeLake and Reservoir Management15239250Google Scholar
  40. Wang S. H., Huggins D. G., deNoyelles F. Jr., Meyer J. O., Lennon J. T. 2000. Assessment of Clinton Lake and its watershed: water quality and plankton communities in Clinton Lake, Kansas May 1997 through November 1998. Kansas Biological Survey, Lawrence, KS. Report No. 96. 95 pp.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shih-Hsien Wang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Andrew R. Dzialowski
    • 1
  • Justin O. Meyer
    • 1
  • Frank deNoyellesJr.
    • 1
  • Niang-Choo Lim
    • 1
  • William W. Spotts
    • 1
  • Donald G. Huggins
    • 1
  1. 1.Kansas Biological SurveyUniversity of KansasLawrenceUSA

Personalised recommendations