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

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Abstract

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.

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Correspondence to Shih-Hsien Wang.

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Wang, SH., Dzialowski, A.R., Meyer, J.O. et al. Relationships between cyanobacterial production and the physical and chemical properties of a Midwestern Reservoir, USA. Hydrobiologia 541, 29–43 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10750-004-4665-x

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10750-004-4665-x

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