The relationship between the algal toxin microcystin and the chemical, physical and biological parameters in Lake Winnipeg
Stratton, Desiree A. L.
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Cyanobacterial algae blooms are of rising concern all over the world because of their increasing abundance and toxin release. Using an 18-year dataset (1999 to 2017), correlations between chemical, physical and biological parameters and the microcystin toxin in Lake Winnipeg were investigated. Multi-panel scatterplots with Pearson correlation coefficients found total boron in euphotic dataset and Anabaena biomass in the surface dataset had the strongest positive correlations. N variables such as total N, total Kjeldahl N, nitrate + nitrite and the N:P ratio may aid in controlling microcystin levels in Lake Winnipeg. Higher toxins correlated with higher N variables in the surface dataset (total N and total Kjaldahl N) and euphotic dataset (N:P ratio) and higher toxins and lower N variables correlated in the euphotic dataset (dissolved NO3 + NO2). Total suspended solids had a positive correlation with toxin levels in the surface dataset; Secchi disk depth and wind speed had negative correlations. Overall, I found that algal toxin concentrations in the epilimnion of Lake Winnipeg correlated best with several metrics of nitrogen availability, water clarity, Anabaena biomass and boron concentrations .
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