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Early and late cyanobacterial bloomers in a shallow, eutrophic lake
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  • Kristin J. Painter,
  • Jason J Venkiteswaran,
  • Dana F. Simon,
  • Sung Vo Duy,
  • Sébastien Sauvé,
  • Helen Margaret Baulch
Kristin J. Painter
University of Saskatchewan, University of Saskatchewan

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Jason J Venkiteswaran
University of Waterloo, University of Waterloo
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Dana F. Simon
Université de Montréal, Université de Montréal
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Sung Vo Duy
Université de Montréal, Université de Montréal
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Sébastien Sauvé
Université de Montréal, Université de Montréal
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Helen Margaret Baulch
University Of Saskatchewan, Global Insti, University Of Saskatchewan, Global Insti
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Cyanobacterial blooms present challenges for water treatment, especially in regions like the Canadian prairies where poor water quality intensifies water treatment issues. Buoyant cyanobacteria that resist sedimentation present a challenge as water treatment operators attempt to balance pre-treatment and toxic disinfection by-products. Here, we used microscopy to identify and describe the evolution of cyanobacterial species in Buffalo Pound Lake, a key drinking water supply. We used indicator species analysis to identify temporal grouping structures throughout two sampling seasons from May to October 2018 and 2019. Our findings highlight two key cyanobacterial bloom phases – a mid-summer diazotrophic bloom of Dolichospermum spp. and an autumn Planktothrix agardhii bloom. Dolichospermum crassa and Woronchinia compacta served as indicators of the mid-summer and autumn bloom phases, respectively. Different cyanobacterial metabolites were associated with the distinct bloom phases in both years: toxic microcystins were associated with the mid-summer Dolichospermum bloom and some newly monitored cyanopeptides (anabaenopeptin A and B) with the autumn Planktothrix bloom. Despite forming a significant proportion of the autumn phytoplankton biomass (greater than 60%), the Planktothrix bloom had previously not been detected by sensor or laboratory-derived chlorophyll-a. Our results demonstrate the power of targeted taxonomic identification of key species as a tool for managers of bloom-prone systems. Moreover, we describe an autumn Planktothrix agardhii bloom that has the potential to disrupt water treatment due to its evasion of detection. Our findings highlight the importance of identifying this autumn bloom given the expectation that warmer temperatures and a longer ice-free season will become the norm.
2022Published in Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts volume 24 issue 8 on pages 1212-1227. 10.1039/D2EM00078D