2nd UF Water Institute Symposium Abstract

Submitter's Name Ashley Mathews
Session Name Poster Session: Hydrologic, Biogeochemical and Ecological Processes 2
Category Hydrologic, biogeochemical and ecological processes
Poster Number 230
Author(s) A Loren Mathews,  University of Florida
  Edward J. Phlips,  University of Florida
  Measurements of Primary Production in the Caloosahatchee River / San Carlos Bay Ecosystem
  Urban and agricultural development in and around the Caloosahatchee River and Estuary has drastically altered the flow, supply, and quality of water in this system for more than two hundred years. Recently occurring algal blooms have brought attention to nutrient issues and processes affecting biomass accumulation there. The major purpose of this project was to measure primary production rates in the Caloosahatchee River and Estuary system in order to create an empirical model that can be used to predict the response to changes in nutrient load. Primary production rates in terms of oxygen evolution were measured at four sites (one each in the upper estuary, middle estuary, lower estuary, and San Carlos Bay) using simulated in situ light:dark bottle incubations involving a flow-through raceway. Key water quality parameters such as temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, photosynthetically active radiation (PAR light), and macronutrient levels (nitrogen, phosphorous, and silica) were also determined at each site for their direct and indirect affect on primary production. The structure and abundance of the phytoplankton was determined to identify shifts in primary producer communities.