Algal bloom is a major concern worldwide. In this study, we characterised the physical and biochemical parameters during an algal bloom event in a coastal lagoon in an attempt to predict local blooms in the future. Results showed that the highest concentrations of dissolved inorganic phosphorus (DIP), chlorophyll a (chl a) and phytoplankton abundance were found in the inner area, whereas the highest dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) concentration occurred near the inlet-outlet channel. Chl a was correlated with DIP, and there was a significant exponential relationship between chl a and the nitrogen to phosphorus ratio (N/P ratio) across all sampling stations and times. A higher proportion of the variation in chl a was explained by the N/P ratio than either DIP or DIN. We found that a N/P ratio<2.38 will likely trigger an algal bloom (chl a≥10gL-1) in the lagoon. Our results suggest that the N/P ratio could be used as an expedient and reliable measure of the potential eutrophic status of coastal lagoons.
ASJC Scopus subject areas