Water-Related News

SFWMD study shows importance of CDOM to Caloosahatchee River water quality

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A study by scientists at the South Florida Water Management District concludes that colored dissolved organic matter is at least as important as chlorophyll a in its effect on light attenuation in the Caloosahatchee River. Excerpts from the study, which was published in the September 2015 issue of the journal Estuaries and Coasts, follow:

"Colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM) is one of the most important water quality constituents impacting light attenuation in estuaries; its concentration and distribution influence light quality and quantity available to phytoplankton and submerged aquatic vegetation. By combining field surveys (March 2009-January 2011) and laboratory studies, we examined the estuarine mixing behavior of CDOM and potential loss processes affecting mixing behavior in the Caloosahatchee River Estuary (CRE), Florida."

"The contribution of chlorophyll a (Chl a) to light attenuation was less than both CDOM and turbidity, accounting for about 12 % on average (2–24 %), regardless of location. These results suggest that any nutrient management scenario aimed at improving water clarity through reduction in Chl a concentration should consider the contributions of color and turbidity as well."