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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Detection of Toxin-producing Algae by Low-altitude Remote Sensing Methods

Authors
item Zimba, Paul
item Thomson, Steven

Submitted to: International Conference Remote Sensing for Marine and Costal Environments
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: March 19, 2002
Publication Date: May 20, 2002
Citation: ZIMBA, P.V., THOMSON, S.J. DETECTION OF TOXIN-PRODUCING ALGAE BY LOW-ALTITUDE REMOTE SENSING METHODS. INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE REMOTE SENSING FOR MARINE AND COSTAL ENVIRONMENTS. 2002.

Interpretive Summary: We tested the utility of low-cost remote sensing methodologies to monitor algal populations in channel catfish production ponds. Weekly overflights using an agricultural aircraft equipped with a digital camera provided imagery data; ground truthing in ponds included water collections for algal pigment analyses. Strong correlations between reflected color (imagery) and pigment composition of the ponds were identified. The utility of this method for assessing algal composition appears to be a practical approach for monitoring harmful algal species.

Technical Abstract: Methods for detection of freshwater harmful algal blooms have progressed more slowly than those used in marine systems. Techniques for assessment of phytoplankton were applied to catfish aquaculture production ponds. Species capable of producing the algal toxin microcystin were monitored by low-altitude over-flights. Myxoxanthin, indicative of species present capable of producing toxins, was highly correlated to chlorophyll concentrations. Identification of chlorophyll by over-flight accounted for 25-37% of variance in the regression model. Slope relationships of chlorophyll to over-flight data were consistent when algal populations were stable.

Last Modified: 9/20/2014
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