Skip to main content

Collaborative Research: Evaluating Nutrient Reductions to Control Cyanobacteria and Ensure Large Lake Sustainability: Lake Taihu (China) as a Model for North American Systems

CBET-0826819<br/>Paerl<br/><br/><br/>Eutrophication in freshwater systems has led to a global proliferation of cyanobacterial blooms deemed harmful because they foul water intakes, disrupt foodwebs, fuel hypoxia, and produce secondary metabolites that are toxic to consumers and users of affected waters, ranging from zooplankton, fish, shellfish, cattle, domestic pets, to humans. As such, Cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms (CyanHABs) seriously impair major freshwater drinking water supplies, fisheries, agricultural (irrigation) and recreational use. A particularly troubling aspect of the CyanoHAB problem is the proliferation into previously pristine large lake, reservoir, and river systems. These include: the Laurentian Great Lakes, major reservoirs in the US Midwest and West, lakes, rivers and estuaries of the Southeast, and large lakes across the globe, including China's third largest lake, Taihu. The objective of this research is to deploy an interdisciplinary, international (USA-China) science-based approach for assessing, controlling, and mitigating CycanHABs threatening the sustainability of large lakes, focusing on Taihu as a case study. In situ nutrient dilution bioassays will be deployed, designed to determine thresholds below which CyanoHAB growth and proliferation can be controlled. The hypothesis that dual nutrient (N and P) input constraints will be needed for long-term control of CyanoHABs in Taihu will be tested. Bioassays will complement ongoing field and mesocosm circulation and nutrient cycling studies by Chinese colleagues. A program of research, education, and partnership with Chinese researchers will provide a "looking glass" into how future CyanoHAB events might be dealt with in North American systems. The inclusion of students focused on Environmental Science and Studies (UNC-CH?s Institute for the Environment) and Science - Journalism (UT's School of Journalism) will facilitate rapid and widespread dissemination of materials to all levels (K-12, collegiate, and general public).

In progress
Project URL
Project Database
Start Date
End Date

The Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Research Inventory is an
interactive, Internet-based, searchable database created as a tool to collect and disseminate
up-to-date information about research projects in the
Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Region.