Effects of nutrients on algal growth in West Point Lake, Georgia

Article · January 1978with 38 Reads
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Phytoplankton concentration in West Point Lake, Georgia, appears to be related to the availability of nutrients as measured by AGP (algal growth potential) assays. AGP and phytoplankton concentrations change with distance and the rates of change are greater at higher temperatures than at lower temperatures. Little or no decrease in the AGP or increase in the phytoplankton concentration occurs at temperatures less than about 13 C. Phytoplankton concentration is related to water tempera­ ture and distance downstream from Franklin in the lake at sites where the AGP is greater than about 0.5 mg 1.

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    • Robert H. Kennedy
    • John J. Hains
      John J. Hains
    • Steven L. Ashby
    • William E. Jabour
    West Point Lake is a large hydropower reservoir constructed and operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on the Chattahoochee River in west- central Georgia. Water quality and mixing characteristics are markedly impacted by water and material loads from the river and by within-lake processes. In general, the lake is nutrient-rich and highly productive, and exhibits pronounced patterns in the distribution of chlorophyll and turbidity. Data derived from LANDSAT images and limnological surveys, as well as data resulting from intensive sampling in selected areas, were used to describe and assess observed patterns in the distribution of water quality variables. Cluster analyses identified four distinct lake regions characterized as lake-like with moderate to low nutrients and productivity (cluster 1), turbid nutrient-rich and advective (cluster 4), and intermediate to high in nutrient concentration and turbidity level. The latter regions are potentially sensitive to changes in nutrient input (cluster 2) or turbidity level (cluster 3). Conditions in the tailwater below West Point Dam were influenced by hydrograph changes resulting from hydropower operation, local impacts from inflowing tributaries, and loss reactions, including oxidation, adsorption, and sedimentation. Chlorophyll, Nutrients, Tailwater, Invertebrates, Reservoir, Water quality, LANDSAT, Sediment