How much are fallen leaves to blame for Canberra’s cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) blooms?

Canberra's lakes and waterways experience frequent blooms of cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) each summer. These can lead to dead fish, poisoned pets, unpleasant odours, and 'no-swim' orders. These blooms are largely the result of excessive nutrients flowing into the waterways, and the ACT Government is trying to find out from where they're originating.

This project provides an opportunity to work with ACT Government to answer research questions about the impact of leaf decomposition on water quality in Canberra.

Contribute to this ACT Government-funded project by either: (1) Performing experiments and chemical analyses on Canberra's leaves to determine their nutrient-leaching potential; or, (2) Analysing the spatial and temporal distribution of Canberra's trees and falling leaves. Both projects will combine their findings to help the ACT Government decide how to tackle this problem.

Both projects will combine findings to determine theoretical contribution.

Picture credit - Canberra Weekly