Dynamics of cyanobacterial bloom formation during short-term hydrodynamic fluctuation in a large shallow, eutrophic, and wind-exposed Lake Taihu, China.Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2013 Dec; 20(12):8546-56.ES
Short-term hydrodynamic fluctuations caused by extreme weather events are expected to increase worldwide because of global climate change, and such fluctuations can strongly influence cyanobacterial blooms. In this study, the cyanobacterial bloom disappearance and reappearance in Lake Taihu, China, in response to short-term hydrodynamic fluctuations, was investigated by field sampling, long-term ecological records, high-frequency sensors and MODIS satellite images. The horizontal drift caused by the dominant easterly wind during the phytoplankton growth season was mainly responsible for cyanobacterial biomass accumulation in the western and northern regions of the lake and subsequent bloom formation over relatively long time scales. The cyanobacterial bloom changed slowly under calm or gentle wind conditions. In contrast, the short-term bloom events within a day were mainly caused by entrainment and disentrainment of cyanobacterial colonies by wind-induced hydrodynamics. Observation of a westerly event in Lake Taihu revealed that when the 30 min mean wind speed (flow speed) exceeded the threshold value of 6 m/s (5.7 cm/s), cyanobacteria in colonies were entrained by the wind-induced hydrodynamics. Subsequently, the vertical migration of cyanobacterial colonies was controlled by hydrodynamics, resulting in thorough mixing of algal biomass throughout the water depth and the eventual disappearance of surface blooms. Moreover, the intense mixing can also increase the chance for forming larger and more cyanobacterial colonies, namely, aggregation. Subsequently, when the hydrodynamics became weak, the cyanobacterial colonies continuously float upward without effective buoyancy regulation, and cause cyanobacterial bloom explosive expansion after the westerly. Furthermore, the results of this study indicate that the strong wind happening frequently during April and October can be an important cause of the formation and expansion of cyanobacterial blooms in Lake Taihu.