Title

The Comparison of Chlorophyll α and Primary Productivity at Ledbetter Embayment and Panther Creek from 2009 through 2017

Academic Level at Time of Presentation

Senior

Major

Earth and Environmental Science

Minor

Psychology

List all Project Mentors & Advisor(s)

Susan Hendricks

Presentation Format

Poster Presentation

Abstract/Description

Chlorophyll α levels in lakes have a significant impact on biological systems and organisms dependent on these waters. Increased levels of Chlorophyll α have been correlated with increased levels of algae in waterbodies. The amount of energy being transferred throughout an ecosystem, or primary productivity (PP), can be a reliable indicator of aquatic plant or algae growth. Algae, such as cyanobacteria, are toxic and in large quantities can have negative impacts on the local environment and biological population. Large algal blooms can also cause a decrease in dissolved oxygen leading to hypoxic conditions. This study hypothesizes that there will be a positive correlation between Chlorophyll α and PP. These data were collected during Kentucky Lake sampling cruises (2009 - 2017) conducted by Hancock Biology Station (HBS) in the Ledbetter Embayment, and Panther Creek, located in Tennessee Valley Authority’s Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area. Samples were collected and processed in the Aquatic Water Chemistry Laboratory at HBS using standard practices and procedures. Results show that as Chlorophyll α levels increase PP also increases. This indicates that in bodies of water, Chlorophyll α levels can be correlated to, and may help predict, PP levels within an area of interest. These results can help to further understand patterns of algae blooms at the Ledbetter embayment, Panther Creek, and possibly throughout Kentucky Lake and other bodies of water using PP as a proxy for algal blooms.

Fall Scholars Week 2018 Event

Earth and Environmental Sciences Poster Session

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The Comparison of Chlorophyll α and Primary Productivity at Ledbetter Embayment and Panther Creek from 2009 through 2017

Chlorophyll α levels in lakes have a significant impact on biological systems and organisms dependent on these waters. Increased levels of Chlorophyll α have been correlated with increased levels of algae in waterbodies. The amount of energy being transferred throughout an ecosystem, or primary productivity (PP), can be a reliable indicator of aquatic plant or algae growth. Algae, such as cyanobacteria, are toxic and in large quantities can have negative impacts on the local environment and biological population. Large algal blooms can also cause a decrease in dissolved oxygen leading to hypoxic conditions. This study hypothesizes that there will be a positive correlation between Chlorophyll α and PP. These data were collected during Kentucky Lake sampling cruises (2009 - 2017) conducted by Hancock Biology Station (HBS) in the Ledbetter Embayment, and Panther Creek, located in Tennessee Valley Authority’s Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area. Samples were collected and processed in the Aquatic Water Chemistry Laboratory at HBS using standard practices and procedures. Results show that as Chlorophyll α levels increase PP also increases. This indicates that in bodies of water, Chlorophyll α levels can be correlated to, and may help predict, PP levels within an area of interest. These results can help to further understand patterns of algae blooms at the Ledbetter embayment, Panther Creek, and possibly throughout Kentucky Lake and other bodies of water using PP as a proxy for algal blooms.