A Study of the Phytoplankton Ecology of Rivers in the Morecambe Bay Catchment Area and an Assessment of the Productivity of the Waters using a Bioassay Technique (A Contribution to the Morecambe Bay Feasibility Study)
Wurthmann, I. S.
PublisherUniversity of Lancaster
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This study, which formed part of the Morecambe Bay Feasibility Study, aims to assess the biology of the river systems flowing into Morecambe Bay and to offer a prediction of the possible biology of the waters to be impounded to supply potable water. It describes the present condition of the algal flora and analyses the biological potential of the waters in the different rivers of the Kent and Leven basins. The rivers and tributaries were sampled at regular intervals to determine the species and numbers of phytoplankton present and the chlorophyll a concentration. Both investigations suggested that these waters are oligotrophic. Because the river- waters may be impounded in large shallow lakes in Morecambe Bay, it was essential to discover just how rich the river waters were in fact. Samples of the river waters were cultured in different environments and used in a bioassay. The results of these experiments along with the results of a nutrient loading determination indicated that the river waters had the potential of maintaining a rich flora. The different reservoir systems proposed for Morecambe Bay will,,. therefore, probably be mesotrophic-eutrophic. But variations in the productivity of the different river systems provide the biological basis for making additional recommendations concerning the structure of the reservoirs proposed by the consulting engineers for Morecambe Bay.