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Type: Journal article
Title: Potential for algal blooms in tropical rivers of the Northern Territory, Australia
Author: Ganf, G.
Rea, N.
Citation: Marine and Freshwater Research, 2007; 58(4):315-326
Publisher: C S I R O Publishing
Issue Date: 2007
ISSN: 1323-1650
Statement of
George G. Ganf and Naomi Rea
Abstract: Rivers in the Northern Territory (NT) of Australia are under pressure from increasing vegetation clearance, land use and nutrient run-off. The literature on algal blooms clearly identifies the predisposing factors but in the NT, these factors are not well researched. We report on the potential for tropical rivers to experience problems related to algal growth. NT rivers were found to have a low nutrient status and a viable inoculum of blue-green, brown and green algal communities. The growth response of these algal groups to nutrient enrichment via bioassays and pulse-amplitude-modulation (PAM) fluorometry measurements varied among rivers and the addition of N, P or N&P. However, the overwhelming findings were that all rivers had the potential to experience algal blooms with enrichment. Back-calculations based on the chlorophyll concentrations recorded in bioassay experiments and stoichiometric ratios of chlorophyll:nutrients suggest there are pools of biologically available organic forms of N and P in addition to inorganic forms. The role of river length in the development of algal blooms was investigated: the longer the river reach, the slower the flow, and the greater the availability of nutrients, the higher potential for algal blooms. Given the strong indications that increased nutrient run-off to tropical rivers will result in algal blooms, prudent land-use and development with nutrient management strategies is essential.
Keywords: biologically available nutrients
river length
Description: © CSIRO 2007
DOI: 10.1071/MF06161
Published version:
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest
Earth and Environmental Sciences publications

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