Early Warning Indicators of Harmful Algal Blooms
Previous whole-lake experiments have demonstrated that statistical indicators of ecosystem resilience can serve as an early warning of an oncoming bloom (Wilkinson et al. 2018), and even appear with enough time to intervene (Pace et al. 2017). However, it is unknown if this early warning tool is effective in non-experimental lakes. We are evaluating the utility of this statistical prediction tool in lakes that experience annual HABs, performing the first real-world evaluation of this promising forecasting method. Additionally, the early warning system is being evaluated as a risk assessment tool for cyanotoxin exposure aimed at protecting human health. This research will result in the development of a tool to predict HABs and produce the data needed to better understand the dynamics and drivers of toxic HABs in lakes.