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Using phytoplankton as the focal point for the management of Cardiff Bay, South Wales

Lee, Sarah 2019. Using phytoplankton as the focal point for the management of Cardiff Bay, South Wales. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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This study is the first to demonstrate a novel combination of hydrological and biological control of a freshwater lake system. The former through lake flushing rate and the latter through topdown control by an invasive filter-feeder; zebra mussels. The artificial freshwater lake of Cardiff Bay, South Wales was created in 2001 by the implementation of an amenity barrage across the Taff-Ely estuary. To date, management methods include an aeration system to maintain dissolved oxygen concentrations within the water column, and a reduction in phosphorus concentration from river inputs to control phytoplankton biomass. Despite this ongoing management, the state of the phytoplankton population within the lake in relation to water quality has not been analysed in depth since its formation. This study undertook an extensive assessment of the hydrological, chemical and biological variables in the lake to determine the controls on the phytoplankton community,and the implications it hasfor water quality managementof the system.Cardiff Bay is a unique site that acts more like a river system than a lake. Its’ polymictic nature prevents the lake from stratifying, and its low phytoplankton biomass is controlled by fast flushing rates and filter-feeding by zebra mussels. The lake supports a healthy phytoplankton population that is not nutrient limited and does not contribute to dissolved oxygen concentrations.This study has highlighted the unique relationships that take place within Cardiff Bay, and the need for an advanced understanding stemming from this research to ensure that management can take place to successfully maintain the clear water state of the lake, under the stressors of changes in climate.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Earth and Environmental Sciences
Subjects: Q Science > QE Geology
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 4 May 2020
Date of Acceptance: 4 May 2020
Last Modified: 16 Mar 2021 02:24

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