Changes in Diatom Biodiversity in Lake Sinclair, Baldwin County, Georgia, USA


The effects of increased water temperature on algal community composition were investigated in Lake Sinclair, Baldwin County, Georgia, USA. The lake received waste cooling water from a coal burning power plant. Discharges of recycled lake water were, on average, 15°C ± 1.5°C (and up to 23°C) warmer than typical ambient temperatures. Seasonal changes in algal composition were observed, and the warmer sample site had a greater diversity of diatom species year round independent of changes in temperature. Thermal pollution created a high percent dissimilarity between diatoms at the warmer site and the remainder of the lake. Species turnover observed in natural samples was not detected for the warmer site. Anthropogenic thermal pollution was implicated as the factor inducing changes in the natural algal community composition, which may impact other trophic levels and ultimately the overall ecology of Lake Sinclair.

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M. Smith and K. Manoylov, "Changes in Diatom Biodiversity in Lake Sinclair, Baldwin County, Georgia, USA," Journal of Water Resource and Protection, Vol. 5 No. 7, 2013, pp. 732-742. doi: 10.4236/jwarp.2013.57074.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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