Algae Monitoring

Moriya Rufer

Algae are microscopic plant-like organisms at the base of lake food webs. They add oxygen to the waterand are critical to fueling zooplankton, small fish, and ultimately large fish growth. Like many things though, when there gets to be too much of them they become unpleasing, a nuisance, and even outright dangerous.  Some kinds produce toxins that are harmful to human health.  The kinds that produce toxins are types of “blue-green” algae (cyanobacteria).

In addition, zebra mussels can change a lake’s algae composition as zebra mussels eat certain kinds of algae.

Monitoring what’s in the water can help to understand what’s at the base of lake food webs, determine pre or post zebra mussel conditions, and can keep lake users safe.

Service Description and Price/Sample

•  Potentially toxic cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) scan (presence/absence to genus) $75
•  Algal bloom scan for identification of dominant genus $75
•  Identification of the algae types in a sample (presence/absence to class or genus) $145
•  Taxonomic analysis of cyanobacteria (blue-green) only to genus or species  (counts) $125
•  Taxonomic analysis of all algae to genus or species (counts) $195
•  Taxonomic analysis of all algae to genus or species (counts, and biovolume) $295

Algae Chain of Custody Form

Algae Collection Procedures

Some helpful information on algae identification and harmful algal blooms:
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA)
Minnesota Department of Health
University of Minnesota
Minnesota Sea Grant
United States Geological Survey (USGS) (pdf)