Algae Blooms set up a “positive feedback loop”, creating their own favorable conditions

Lake Erie isn’t the only lake dealing with cyanobacteria and cyanotoxins. It’s a problem across Canada. Studies report there is algae in all Canadian lakes. What is being done to learn more about this complex contaminant and it’s potential toxins. How can families who draw their water from lakes not be exposed to the toxins like Toledo, Ohio residents were in 2014 who have an eight-phase water treatment process? Are water authorities testing for phosphorous in our lakes’ sediment? BMAA, a species of Cyanobacteria, may be connected to ALS, Parkinsons, and Alzheimers. Infrastructure costs are projected to be over $12k/person and I don’t feel the water authorities are fully grasping the full complexity of what is to come with this particular contaminant given that for every degree rise in temperature will cause 7% more moisture in the atmosphere which will cause more erosion and phosphorous in our lakes. When cyanobacteria get a toe-hold in healthy, pristine (oligotrophic) lakes they can set up a “positive feedback loop” (called biogeochemical cycling) that amplify the effects of pollutants and climate change and make conditions more favourable for algal blooms which threaten water resources worldwide. Click here to learn more about the study or read an excerpt below.


The findings suggest cyanobacteria—sometimes known as pond scum or blue-green algae—that get a toe-hold in low-to-moderate nutrient lakes can set up positive feedback loops that amplify the effects of pollutants and climate change and make conditions even more favorable for blooms, which threaten water resources and public health worldwide. The findings shed new light on what makes cyanobacteria so successful and may lead to new methods of prevention and control.

Biogeochemical cycling is the natural recycling of nutrients between living organisms and the atmosphere, land and water. The researchers found that can influence lake and the ability of a lake to maintain its current conditions by tapping into pools of nitrogen and phosphorus not usually accessible to phytoplankton. The ability of many cyanobacterial organisms to fix dissolved is a well-known potential source of , but some organisms can also access pools of phosphorus in sediments and bottom waters. Both of these nutrients can subsequently be released to the water column via leakage or decomposing organisms, thereby increasing for other phytoplankton and microbes.




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