Skip to Content

Your Link to Muskoka's Water!


Controls on algal blooms and predictive modeling of bloom occurrence in the Muskoka River Watershed

Peter Dillon (PI/Trent University)
Andrew Paterson (PI/Dorset OMOE)
Jennifer Winter (co-PI/OMOE)
Anurani Persaud (Post-doctoral researcher/Trent University)


Blooms of algae are of particular interest because they pose a direct and immediate threat to water quality. Recent evidence suggests that the frequency and intensity of algal blooms have increased in Ontario lakes over the last several years, with some notable examples occurring within the Muskoka River Watershed, e.g. Three Mile Lake and Brandy Lake.

Therefore the primary goals of this project are:

  1. To identify the key environmental stressors (physical, chemical and biological) affecting abundance and composition of the phytoplankton community.
  2. To determine the spatial and temporal sampling frequency that is most effective for monitoring changes in phytoplankton assemblages over time.
  3. To develop models that can be used to predict the likelihood of algal blooms in lakes of the Muskoka River Watershed.


Update - November 2013

Using detailed data collected bi-weekly over several years from two Muskoka lakes (Brandy and Three Mile) Anurani has developed models to predict the occurrence of algal blooms. Her analyses indicate that the factors linked to bloom development differ in the two lakes. Additionally, she found that chemical and physical parameters are more important predictors for bloom formation compared to meteorological factors.