Strategies for monitoring and managing mass populations of toxic cyanobacteria in recreational waters: a multi-interdisciplinary approach

Andrew Tyler, Peter Hunter, Laurence Carvalho, Geoffrey Codd, Alex Elliott, Claire Ferguson, Nick Hanley, David Hopkins, Stephen Maberly, Kathryn Mearns, Marion Scott

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Mass populations of toxin-producing cyanobacteria commonly develop in fresh-, brackish- and marine waters and effective strategies for monitoring and managing cyanobacterial health risks are required to safeguard animal and human health. A multi-interdisciplinary study, including two UK freshwaters with a history of toxic cyanobacterial blooms, was undertaken to explore different approaches for the identification, monitoring and management of potentially-toxic cyanobacteria and their associated risks. The results demonstrate that (i) cyanobacterial bloom occurrence can be predicted at a local- and national-scale using process-based and statistical models; (ii) cyanobacterial concentration and distribution in waterbodies can be monitored using remote sensing, but minimum detection limits need to be evaluated; (iii) cyanotoxins may be transferred to spray-irrigated root crops; and (iv) attitudes and perceptions towards risks influence the public's preferences and willingness-to-pay for cyanobacterial health risk reductions in recreational waters.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberS11
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Health
Issue numberSuppl 1
Publication statusPublished - 21 Dec 2009


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