A European Multi Lake Survey (EMLS) of phytoplankton cyanobacterial blooms
Increased nutrient pollution and global warming may further promote harmful algal and cyanobacterial blooms, adding urgency for scientists and lake managers to understand if and how these two drivers will interact. CyanoCOST and NETLAKE, two European COST actions working on lakes and reservoirs, took part in a European multi-lake survey (ELMS) across different geographical and climatic regions in Europe in summer 2015. The project was organised by Evanthia Mantzouki and her PhD supervisor Prof. Bastian Ibelings, University of Geneva, who participate in both COST Actions.The final survey involved 32 countries, 147 participants and 380 lakes. The EMLS has offered a real opportunity for all European countries to contributeto a unique effort in studying cyanobacterial blooms and their response to environmental change.
The lakes were sampled only once for various physical, chemical and biological parameters. At the moment, the various datasets are undergoing quality control to obtain a wholly integrated dataset. Further analyses like toxin and DNA profiling will also benefit each country individually in developing regional risk assessments of toxic blooms. EMLS has stimulated and strengthened a network of young researchers at a scale, which previously did not exist. This will foster opportunities for future funding and ultimately help to achieve Europe’s goal of good water quality and healthy aquatic ecosystems.