Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2011ND237B

Studies of Seasonal Succession of Cyanobacteria and Green algae at Heinrich-Martin Impoundment, North Dakota

Institute: North Dakota
Year Established: 2011 Start Date: 2011-03-01 End Date: 2012-02-29
Total Federal Funds: $11,300 Total Non-Federal Funds: $22,600

Principal Investigators: Wei Lin

Abstract: In North Dakota, farms and ranches occupy more than 39million acres, almost 90% of North Dakotas land area. So the major sources of nutrients (Nitrogen and Phosphorous) loading into the NDs lakes and reservoirs are erosion and runoff from animal feeding operations, and hydrologic modifications. Runoff from agricultural lands contain nine times higher concentrations of nitrogen(N) and ten times higher concentrations of phosphorous(P) than urban areas. Nuisance algal blooms can be expected with TP concentration greater than about 0.01mg/L and TN concentrations greater than 0.15mg/L. So the excessive levels of phosphorous and nitrogen loadings into North Dakota lakes may result in an overstimulation of nuisance algal blooms. Eutrophication is a problem not only in North Dakota waters, but also is a problem in many inland waters of the world. This study will be carried out in a lake in North Dakota known to be under stress. The main objective of this study is to identify population variation of cyanobacteria and green algae in relation to their growth requirements. The specific objectives of the study are 1) to collect water samples and phytoplankton samples to determine seasonal variation of nutrients level and phytoplankton abundance; 2) to determine seasonal variation of total phytoplankton biomass and relative abundance of cyanobacteria; and, 3) to analyze chemical and biological data to determine the factors that affect growth of phytoplankton especially seasonal growth and succession of cyanobacteria. The study expects to provide detailed information of competitive nature of cyanobacteria and green algae in relation to their growth requirements, tolerances, as well as relative abundance of each group according to seasonal variation.