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Study examines algal blooms in Lake Erie

Study examines algal blooms in Lake Erie

Algal Blooms

A new study led by University of Toledo professors and students aims to better understand the harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie. Algal blooms are a persistent issue for the lake, posing risks to the health of both the local ecosystem and those who use the lake for recreation.

Dragan Isailovic, a chemistry and biochemistry professor at the University of Toledo, explained that their collaboration with the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory allows them to focus on one specific type of bacteria. “We are investigating how the microbiome, including other types of bacteria, influences the growth of microcystic aeruginosa,” Dr. Isaialovic said.

The toxins emitted during these algal blooms can lead to serious consequences for aquatic life and humans. Exposure to microcystins can result in cell death, animal death, and even human death.

Understanding Lake Erie’s algal threats

It’s crucial to avoid ingestion and inhalation of these toxins,” Dr. Isaialovic emphasized. This study particularly focuses on the role of nitrogen in the growth of these algae.

We are investigating the role of the microbiome in the production of nitrogen that supports Cyanobacteria growth,” Dr. Isaialovic explained. He noted that much of this nitrogen comes from inorganic sources, notably from fertilizers.

By exploring these interactions further, the researchers hope to develop better strategies to prevent the formation of harmful algal blooms in the future. Dr. Isaialovic expressed optimism that their work could lead to effective methods to mitigate this pressing environmental issue.

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