Getting closer to predicting algal blooms in 5 questions

In October 2015, GBF’s David Sweetnam met University of Toronto Associate Professor Maria Dittrich in Honey Harbour to help her research measuring the make-up of the sediment, and its capacity to release Phosphorous into the water.

It’s important research as freshwater with high Phosphorous is linked with an increased risk in toxic algal blooms.

We asked Professor Dittrich some questions about her research, and have included extra information marked GBF to explain some of the details.

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How does your research support protecting and enhancing the waters of Georgian Bay?

Professor Dittrich:
Phosphorus is the typical limiting nutrient for primary production or algae growth in freshwater ecosystems, where high Phosphorus inputs are linked with an increased risk of algal blooms dominated by potentially harmful cyanobacteria (CHABs).
We are using field and modelling studies to predict sediment Phosphorus mobilization and its impact on water quality and the risk of CHABs, based on robust measures and a modelling framework that we have successfully developed and applied elsewhere. Read More