Lyngbya wollei is a macroscopic benthic filamentous cyanobacterium that forms thick mats in freshwater lakes and ponds in the southeastern United States. Recently, it has become a nuisance species because it clogs water intakes, impedes freshwater navigation and recreation, smothers underwater plants, and emits paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs). Lithium chloride is a good candidate for safe eradication of L. wollei in freshwater environments because it can be phycoremediated and phytoremediated at relatively high concentrations, is relatively nontoxic to plants, invertebrates, and aquatic vertebrates and it is not expected to bioaccumulate. In this experiment, microcosm cultures of L. wollei collected from Grassy Pond Recreation Area in Lake Park, GA were placed in 300 mL BOD bottles and treated with increasing concentrations of lithium chloride. To assess the impact of lithium chloride treatment on other freshwater aquatic species, the experiment was performed on microcosms dominated by filamentous desmids as well. Transects of random samples from each treatment group were used to obtain light micrographs to assess damage to cells via ImageJ . Damage was quantified as the proportion of unhealthy cells out of the total cells observed in the transects. Preliminary results indicate that treating cultures with 200 mg/L of lithium chloride (the maximum concentration that can be completely remediated from an aquatic system) inflicted significant damage to Lyngbya wollei filaments, while insignificantly impacting the filamentous desmids.

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