Algae, Limnology, Hypoxia, Meteorology


Ecology and Evolutionary Biology | Plant Sciences


Sarah Hamsher


Hypoxia has been a central focus of research regarding water quality impairments throughout the world in the past century. The fresh and coastal marine waters affected by hypoxia are of great importance due to the ecosystem services and species habitat they provide, and because of the regional economic activity spurned by these waters in return. As such, a great deal of research effort has been devoted to elucidating the causes and ecological effects of hypoxia with the hopes of remediating the issue. The bulk of this effort has been directed at the role of anthropogenic allochthonous nutrient loading and algal bloom size in the development of recurring hypoxia, as these issues have been exacerbated in the past century. Less examined is the extent to which various climatological and meteorological variables influence hypoxia across temporal scales with even less examination directed towards the potential role of algal bloom community composition on hypoxia. This review summarizes the degree to which meteorological factors (air temperature, wind, precipitation, and ice cover) and community composition of algal blooms influence the development and extent of hypoxia in the hypolimnion of stratified water bodies. Special focus is given to dimictic freshwater lakes, though other marine and estuarine water bodies are discussed as well. Although not of primary importance, meteorological conditions explain much of the short-term temporal variance in hypolimnetic hypoxia and act as a vessel for nutrient transport. While receiving more attention in recent years, the explicit role of algal community composition on the development of hypoxia remains largely unexplored.