The goal of this proposed research is to better understand the distribution and occurrence of cyanobacteria and toxins in critical amphibian ponds and illuminated cave passages of Mammoth Cave National Park. This information will help resource managers better predict, manage, and mitigate the occurrence of harmful algal blooms.
A total of 100 environmental samples will be collected at five amphibian ponds and five cave locations where blooms have been observed. Those samples will be analyzed for field parameters, nutrients, cyanotoxins, community structure, and cyanobacteria by molecular methods. In addition to distribution and occurrence, this research will provide data on the timing and conditions that lead to bloom development and the production of microcystin toxin.