Year Established: 2014 Start Date: 2014-03-01 End Date: 2015-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $18,000 Total Non-Federal Funds: $36,316
Principal Investigators: Susan Wilde, Deepak Mishra
Abstract: Excessive nutrient enrichment in watersheds has increased the prevalence of harmful algal blooms in vital freshwater resources. Global climate change with increased drought, followed by intense rain events with high erosion and runoff, combined with elevated water temperatures also favor the promotion of the most likely toxin-producing microbial group, the cyanobacteria. During extended drought conditions of summer 2012, we documented harmful cyanobacterial blooms in livestock drinking water ponds throughout Georgia; many of which were associated with livestock mortality events. Understanding the dynamics of the microbiota in agricultural ponds used for livestock drinking water will enable us to improve water quality, minimize cyanobacterial blooms, and protect animal health. Harmful algal blooms can be predicted and appropriate management practices can decrease the frequency of dangerous toxin levels in agricultural ponds. Our specific objectives will be to understand the critical driving forces promoting harmful cyanotoxins in livestock drinking water and determine the best management solutions.