Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2015IN383B

Developing a predictive model for algae-bacterial associations in the Wabash River Watershed

Institute: Indiana
Year Established: 2015 Start Date: 2015-03-01 End Date: 2016-02-29
Total Federal Funds: $15,000 Total Non-Federal Funds: $30,451

Principal Investigators: Kevin Wyatt

Abstract: Nutrient contamination within the Wabash River Watershed has resulted in the growth of nuisance macroalgae, including Cladophora glomerata. In addition to producing a noxious odor, the presence of Cladophora has implications for water quality and public health because it harbors fecal indicator bacteria and several species of pathogens. The overall goal of this project is to develop a predictive model to allow resource managers to forecast the occurrence of fecal indicator and pathogenic bacteria associated with blooms of Cladophora. The model will allow monitoring efforts for these bacteria to be targeted on those areas and times of year that pose the greatest public-health risk. The model will be based on information obtained from field surveys within the Wabash River Watershed and controlled experiments designed to elucidate the relationship between the environmental conditions that promote the development of blooms of Cladophora, the physiological condition of the algae, and the occurrence and abundance of Escherichia coli and pathogenic bacteria (Salmonella and Clostridium botulinum).