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Biological control of algal blooms in the Swan-Canning River System, Western Australia evaluation of a novel bacterial treatment

Schmack, M. and Dallas, S. (2009) Biological control of algal blooms in the Swan-Canning River System, Western Australia evaluation of a novel bacterial treatment. In: Swan River Trust’s Swan Canning Research and Innovation Program, 19th August, Perth, Western Australia.

Abstract

A bacterial based algal control product was tested in a series of microcosm and tank experiments between October 2008 and March 2009 to evaluate if the product was suitable as a short-term intervention technique for algal bloom management in the Swan-Canning River system.

Results from greenhouse-situated, did not suggest that the product’s bacteria significantly reduced nutrient concentrations and the product’s ability to suppress algal growth could not be verified. However, results from experiments utilising larger (1200L) fibreglass tanks found that in both aerated and non-aerated, the product accelerated NH4 and NOx reduction. The product’s application also resulted in PO4 reduction in product/no aeration tanks. Furthermore, the product appeared to suppress algal growth in non-aerated tanks over short periods (several days).

Algal growth regularly diminished after application but reappeared shortly afterwards. Aeration had a negative effect on bacterial proliferation in the tanks, possibly through alteration of environmental conditions in the tanks. As a consequence of the environmental conditions in the tanks that were counterproductive to the development of a representative microbial composition, questions regarding the product’s ecological impact could not be assessed satisfactorily in the tank experiments. There was no indication that the product actively attacked or lysed algal cells.

Publication Type: Conference Item
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Environmental Science
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/15180
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