Thursday, August 5, 2010
Phosphorus, however, can be present in several different chemical forms, which are difficult to measure. The researchers will test whether specific forms of phosphorus cause Microcystis to grow or become more toxic and whether controlling those forms might reduce blooms or their toxicity. Using new information about how Microcystis genes regulate uptake and utilization of these different kinds of phosphorus, the researchers will develop new tools to overcome the measurement difficulties. They will then apply these tools during natural blooms in order to identify which types of phosphorous are most instrumental in stimulating bloom formation. Christopher Gobler, associate professor at SBU and lead investigator from the project said, "There are many types of phosphorus and knowing which types can trigger a toxic algal bloom is paramount. Coastal managers and local officials need this data to make important decisions to protect public health and the coastal ecosystem."
Access a release from NOAA and links to related information (click here).