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The cyanoCasting™ Program

The cyanoCasting™ program is a multifaceted program that allows the participants to address their most immediate questions/needs while building a database that can support other aspects of their water resource management program. The program typically cuts across jurisdictions using a systems approach to understand the ecology of cyanobacterial populations. As we apply the program in a diversity of aquatic habitats we can contribute to the management of valued aquatic resources while expanding our knowledge of exposure pathways to cyanotoxins. A diversity of specialists can use this program including board of health, water suppliers, water resource managers, fisheries and other wildlife managers including shellfish wardens. Opportunities always exist to become part of on-going research projects.

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Analysis & Forecasting

• Toxin Concentrations
• Bloom Forecasting
• Diversity Indices

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Environmental Insights

• Trophic Influences
• Food Webs
• Aerosols

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• Serial Filtration

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Significant Findings Through cyanoCasting™

In 2017 the cyanoCasting™ Program was introduced to selected municipalities and local non-profit organizations on Cape Cod, MA. Initially used to assess cyanobacterial populations at 5 sites, the program quickly expanded during the next 5 years to provide monitoring at more than 150 sites. Below are the summaries of significant findings from these first 5 years which may represent characteristics unique to the freshwater bodies on Cape Cod or may represent regional commonalities.
Mixed Assemblages

“Mixed assemblages” (40%) are most commonly observed, however systems dominated by either Dolichospermum spp, (33%) or Microcystis spp, (25%) are often observed. Within the mixed assemblages, composition commonly shifts (20%) between Dolichospermum spp. and Microcystis spp. As a result, Dolichospermum spp. (36%) and Microcystis spp. (29%) are the most common cyanobacteria found in Cape Cod lakes and ponds.

Cyanobacterial Population

Using pigment analysis (phycocyanin) to describe the amount of cyanobacterial biomass in waterbodies, phycocyanin concentrations also provides information on the composition of the cyanobacterial populations. For example, phycocyanin concentrations in the genus Dolichospermum, Aphanizomenon and Woronichina are similar and tend to be much higher than phycocyanin concentrations in Microcystis.

Cyanotoxin Of Greatest Concern

Cyanobacterial genus can be indicative of which cyanotoxin (e.g. endotoxin, microcystin, anatoxin-a) may be of greatest concern.

Cyanobacterial Biomass

Cyanobacterial biomass (PC) has been shown to be correlated with cyanotoxin concentrations, including microcystin (MC) in Microcystis dominated systems and anatoxin-a (ATX) in Dolichospermum dominated systems.

Benefits Of A Proactive Monitoring Program

A proactive monitoring program can anticipate adverse conditions through the use of early warning signals that describe the growth of cyanobacterial populations. These important signals include the onset of early log phase growth and the timing of this growth in the different populations.

Toxin Calculator

Our Toxin Calculator estimates toxin concentrations and forecasts bloom conditions 7-10 days in advance of their appearance by using field data from over 150 sites across New Hampshire, New York and Massachusetts since 2015.

Algae Bloom