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Phytoplankton Analysis

Phytoplankton can be described as microscopic "plants"; these plant-like organisms are single cellular algae that live in fresh and saltwater. The trophic state of water ways and impoundments can be determined and monitored by analyzing the phytoplankton population, in addition to the levels of free or dissolved phosphorous and nitrogen compounds.

A shift in the phytoplankton population takes place when a lake or dam is enriched with nutrients, which can lead to eutrophication. Detailed water analysis and identification and counts of phytoplankton species collected from various sites in a dam can then be used to confirm the trophic status and degree of nutrient enrichment. This is of utmost importance in impoundments which are used to hold irrigation and drinking water. Specific control methods can be used to prevent eutrophication and to maintain a healthy balance in your water way.

For more information about phytoplankton analysis, please contact the WDL.

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