Development of blooms of Cyclotella meneghiniana and Nitzschia spp. (Bacillariophyceae) in a shallow river and estimation of effective suppression flows

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Journal Article
Hydrobiologia, 2008, 596 (1), pp. 173 - 185
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Diatom blooms in the middle reaches of the shallow, freshwater, Hunter River, Australia, are a frequent nuisance to river users. During a 4-year study, blooms of Cyclotella meneghiniana and Nitzschia spp. coincided with water temperatures above 23°C and flows below 400 Ml d-1that lasted for more than 12 days. Redundancy analysis showed that water temperature was positively related, and antecedent flow was negatively related, to the abundance of both taxa. Addition experiments indicated that nutrients are seldom limiting to growth. It is suggested that a combination of faster growth rates at higher temperatures and longer retention times at low flows allows bloom populations to develop. Simulation modelling showed that flow regulation and water extraction have decreased flows in the river during summer, and consequently have probably increased the number of diatom blooms. Environmental flows have been provided to the river, but are not sufficient to prevent blooms. Discharges required for bloom suppression are described. © 2007 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
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