Research Publication Title

An Assessment of the Impact of Acid Mine Drainage on Algal Assemblages

Major

Biology (Master of Science)

Faculty Mentor(s)

Kalina M. Manoylov

Abstract

Algae are often bioindicators due to their wide range of habitats, high biodiversity, and sensitivity to anthropogenic influence. In the Western Allegheny Plateau of southeast Ohio, some streams suffer from impairment caused by acid mine drainage (AMD). Run-off from abandoned mines drain into streams releasing ionic compounds that cause high conductivity, low pH levels (e.g., <3), a high concentration of dissolved metal ions, and a low alkalinity, all of which can cause changes in the algal community composition. Samples were collected from a previous study of AMD impacts on diatom species composition. In this study, we looked at the physiology of algal cells under ionic stress and other algal assemblages. A standard protocol identify 300 live algal units were identified to the lowest taxonomic level possible. About 80% of algae in samples were diatoms, followed by green algae. High nutrient representatives from genera likeGomphonema, Cymbella,andNaviculawere abundant. About 75% of algae in samples were alive. Morphological alterations (deformities) in diatoms and chrysophyte spores were documented in 15 % of the site indicating survival under acidic condition

Start Date

10-4-2015 10:15 AM

End Date

10-4-2015 11:15 AM

Location

HSB 207

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An Assessment of the Impact of Acid Mine Drainage on Algal Assemblages

HSB 207

Algae are often bioindicators due to their wide range of habitats, high biodiversity, and sensitivity to anthropogenic influence. In the Western Allegheny Plateau of southeast Ohio, some streams suffer from impairment caused by acid mine drainage (AMD). Run-off from abandoned mines drain into streams releasing ionic compounds that cause high conductivity, low pH levels (e.g., <3), a high concentration of dissolved metal ions, and a low alkalinity, all of which can cause changes in the algal community composition. Samples were collected from a previous study of AMD impacts on diatom species composition. In this study, we looked at the physiology of algal cells under ionic stress and other algal assemblages. A standard protocol identify 300 live algal units were identified to the lowest taxonomic level possible. About 80% of algae in samples were diatoms, followed by green algae. High nutrient representatives from genera likeGomphonema, Cymbella,andNaviculawere abundant. About 75% of algae in samples were alive. Morphological alterations (deformities) in diatoms and chrysophyte spores were documented in 15 % of the site indicating survival under acidic condition