To predict the effects of increased nutrient loading on nearshore phytoplankton populations in northern Lake Huron, we collected phytoplankton from a small, nearshore water intake at Hammond Bay four times per week from August 1973 to July 1975. Phytoplankton density, taxonomic composition, and biomass in the nearshore waters followed predictable, seasonal fluctuations during each of two 12-month periods. The density of total phytoplankton was high (450600 cells/mL) in June and low (60 to 210 cells/mL) from January to April each year. The mean annual composition of the phytoplankton assemblage by number for the study period was 33% cryptomonads, 24% diatoms, 16% chrysophytes, 16% blue-green algae, and 10% green algae. Phytoplankton biomass was low through each year (range, 0.09 to 0.66 g/m3), resembling values previously reported from Lake Superior. Pennate diatoms contributed 60 to 80% of the total biomass from December to April and in July. Phytoflagellates consisting of chrysophytes and cryptomonads accounted for 35% of the biomass throughout the 2-year study.
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Nearshore phytoplankton of Hammond Bay, Lake Huron