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Interactive Effects of Temperature and Nutrients on Microcystis auerginosa and Anabaena flos-aquae Cultures

Borer, Cortney N
Harmful cyanobacterial blooms (HCBs) are occurring more often across the world, likely due to the effects of climate change. These blooms present a problem for environmental quality, human and animal health, and the state of freshwater ecosystems, as many of the species that make up blooms are toxic. Driving factors have been widely investigated, but little specific data exists for HCBs and the drivers of HCBs in Wyoming. This experiment focused on performing an experiment with Wyoming-relevant conditions and how they affect two common bloom species found in Wyoming: Microcystis auerginosa and Anabaena flos-aquae. Temperature and nutrient amounts, specifically the amounts of nitrogen and phosphorous, are two significant factors that are thought to be driving the increase in blooms. We tested the effect of three different levels of nitrogen and phosphorous, a high condition and a low condition along with a control, at three different temperatures in order to better understand the role these factors play in bloom growth. We used data from the Boysen Reservoir near Thermopolis and Shoshone, Wyoming to determine the temperatures we would use. Overall, there were few significant results. We found that temperature and nutrients interacted significantly to affect the Anabaena flos aquae cultures while a high nutrient level caused a decrease in the growth of M. auerginosa cultures.
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