Browsing All Posts filed under »plankton«

Predicting phytoplankton blooms

June 26, 2022


Toxic cyanobacterial blooms in water bodies pose serious threats to public and ecosystem health.  Much effort has been devoted to developing techniques for forecasting cyanobacterial outbreaks, but many such methods require extensive data and the fine-tuning of parameters.  A new approach, which uses Markov modelling to simulate cyanobacterial growth, offers the ability to forecast the […]

Water quality: documenting a problem

June 26, 2022


Many villages in subtropical countries possess ponds that can be used for a variety of purposes, including aquaculture, flood mitigation, groundwater recharge, carbon sequestration, recreation, biodiversity protection and water supply for irrigation and drinking.  However, in a large number of cases, these services can’t be supplied because the ponds are polluted.  As part of an […]

Water quality: a plankton-based treatment system

June 26, 2022


Water fleas (cladocerans) are very common in freshwater plankton and they feed by filtering small particles from currents of water generated by their modified legs.  This ability led a team of Spanish researchers to investigate whether the filtration skills of water fleas can be harnessed to treat wastewater to provide an effective alternative to other […]

Inland waters are hotspots for methane emission

June 26, 2022


Methane is the second most important greenhouse gas, but it has a much higher global warming potential than the most important gas, carbon dioxide.  Controls on methane emissions offer the best way of reducing global warming in the short term, before controls on carbon dioxide can take full effect.   Currently, such action is hampered by […]

The net effect: caddis flies and streambed flow

March 26, 2022

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The beds of streams are dynamic interfaces where water, nutrients and living organisms move between surface and sub-surface environments, and streambed permeability has a significant influence on processes such as nitrogen cycling and organic matter decomposition.  Although the physics of streambed exchange are well understood, interactions between physical and biological processes have received relatively little […]

Lake management: are tipping points real?

December 14, 2021

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Freshwater biologists often seek to restore turbid shallow lakes dominated by phytoplankton to clear-water systems with a high abundance of submerged plants.  The usual plan of operation, which is often guided by lake ecosystem modelling, is to reduce external inputs of nutrients (e.g., from agricultural runoff or urban waste streams) to a threshold level at […]

Land use patterns can aggravate toxic plankton blooms

September 28, 2021

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An understanding of how environmental factors affect the composition of biological communities is a crucial prerequisite for managing challenges due to climate change, land use practices and invasive species.  However, establishing the significance of interacting local and regional factors that vary widely across space and time is a challenge in itself.   Canadian biologists set out […]

Assessing plankton communities: coarse classification works well

March 13, 2021

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Information on the responses of ecological communities to environmental factors plays a significant role in the management of natural resources.  However, assessing the responses of some important groups, such as lake plankton, is often difficult because of a lack of taxonomic expertise.  A possible solution to this problem is to classify organisms by functional physiological, […]

Reservoirs as biodiversity hotspots

December 17, 2020

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Although lakes and reservoirs are both inland water bodies, lakes are usually ancient ecosystems formed by geomorphological processes while reservoirs are relatively young environments constructed to meet human needs.  Understanding how these factors affect biological communities is important in the conservation of freshwater biodiversity.  In theory, diversity should be greater in lake habitats because they […]

Ecosystem impacts of invasive carp

December 16, 2020

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The common carp (Cyprinus carpio) is one of the world’s most widespread invasive fish species and has a reputation for causing ecological damage.  It’s thought that the excretion of nutrients by dense populations of carp stimulates algal growth, which increases turbidity, and that the feeding and spawning activities of carp further increase turbidity by bringing […]