Associations between water physicochemistry and Prymnesium parvum presence, abundance, and toxicity in west Texas reservoirs

Journal of the American Water Resources Association
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Abstract

Toxic blooms of golden alga (Prymnesium parvum) have caused substantial ecological and economic harm in freshwater and marine systems throughout the world. In North America, toxic blooms have impacted freshwater systems including large reservoirs. Management of water chemistry is one proposed option for golden alga control in these systems. The main objective of this study was to assess physicochemical characteristics of water that influence golden alga presence, abundance, and toxicity in the Upper Colorado River basin (UCR) in Texas. The UCR contains reservoirs that have experienced repeated blooms and other reservoirs where golden alga is present but has not been toxic. We quantified golden alga abundance (hemocytometer counts), ichthyotoxicity (bioassay), and water chemistry (surface grab samples) at three impacted reservoirs on the Colorado River; two reference reservoirs on the Concho River; and three sites at the confluence of these rivers. Sampling occurred monthly from January 2010 to July 2011. Impacted sites were characterized by higher specific conductance, calcium and magnesium hardness, and fluoride than reference and confluence sites. At impacted sites, golden alga abundance and toxicity were positively associated with salinity-related variables and blooms peaked at ~10°C and generally did not occur above 20°C. Overall, these findings suggest management of land and water use to reduce hardness or salinity could produce unfavorable conditions for golden alga.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Associations between water physicochemistry and Prymnesium parvum presence, abundance, and toxicity in west Texas reservoirs
Series title Journal of the American Water Resources Association
DOI 10.1111/jawr.12262
Volume 51
Issue 2
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher American Water Resources Association
Publisher location Herndon, VA
Contributing office(s) Coop Res Unit Atlanta
Description 16 p.
First page 471
Last page 486
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N