Developing a monitoring strategy for phytoplankton community structure in a large water-storage reservoir: Lake Mulwala, Australia
Phytoplankton are an important element in the ecology of lakes and reservoirs and therefore often included in lake monitoring programmes. However, algal distribution is often highly variable in both time and space, thereby posing difficulties when designing lake monitoring strategies. This study describes the spatial distribution of both total phytoplankton community structure and cyanobacterial biovolume during a period of high algal abundance in Lake Mulwala, a water-storage reservoir in Australia. The distribution of phytoplankton is then used for the rational design of monitoring strategies with sufficient statistical power to determine both changes in overall phytoplankton community structure over time, as well as to fulfil statutory cyanobacterial biovolume monitoring obligations.