Growth of natural phytoplankton populations of Wilson Bay : a nutrient bioassay approach

UNCW Author/Contributor (non-UNCW co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jennifer Peterson Brousseau (Creator)
The University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW )
Web Site:
Carmelo Tomas

Abstract: Wilson Bay is a shallow estuarine embayment found within the New River Estuary. Previous work sponsored by NC WRRI examined phytoplankton bloom species composition, rainfall and nutrient levels within the New River Estuary. This study focused on the influence of nutrients in forming blooms using a bioassay format measuring phytoplankton growth over a 7 day incubation period. Growth rates were measured by fluorometric readings and visual eye counts preformed on natural populations that were incubated and treated with nutrient addition and exclusions. Additions consisted of sodium nitrate (NaNo3), ammonium chloride (NHCl), urea (CO(NH2)2) and a complete control, including phosphate, silicate, vitamins and trace metals. Exclusions minus nitrogen, minus phosphate, minus silicate, and unenriched controls were also measured. Ambient nutrient levels were measured in sample water before nutrients were added. Previous work done on Wilson Bay showed to often be nitrogen limiting. The unexpected amounts of rainfall during the study period provided data that showed that Wilson Bay was nitrogen limited with nitrogen additions giving the greatest stimulation. The study period (March-September 2003) had abundant amounts of rainfall compared to the previous (2002) which was a drought years. Wilson Bay blooms are strongly affected by local weather and the rate and types of nutrient delivery.

Additional Information

A Thesis Submitted to the University of North Carolina, Wilmington in Partial Fulfillment Of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science
Language: English
Date: 2009
Algal blooms--North Carolina--New River Estuary, New River Estuary (Onslow County, N.C.)--Research, Nutrient pollution of water--North Carolina--New River Estuary, Phytoplankton--Nutrition--Research, Water--Nitrogen content, Water quality bioassay--North Carolina--New River Estuary
Algal blooms -- North Carolina -- New River Estuary
Phytoplankton -- Nutrition -- Research
Water -- Nitrogen content
New River Estuary (Onslow County, N.C.) -- Research
Nutrient pollution of water -- North Carolina -- New River Estuary
Water quality bioassay -- North Carolina -- New River Estuary

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