Central Plains Center for Bioassessment

Spatial and Temporal Variability of Nutrient Limitation on Phytoplankton Growth in Kansas Reservoirs

Date January 2001 - December 2003
Contact Debbie Baker
Kansas Department of Health and Environment
Location Kansas reservoirs


Studies of the resource supply ratios of TN and TP (TN:TP), phytoplankton growth, and water quality management have been the central theme in the recovery and prevention of culturally eutrophified reservoirs. Insights from these studies have provided some of this field’s greatest practical successes.

However, our empirical data for five Kansas reservoirs listed in the TMDL (total maximum daily load) program indicate that TN:TP ratios often fail to predict limiting nutrient conditions in waterbodies in this region. While TN:TP ratios have historically been used as predicators of limiting nutrient conditions, this may not be valid.

Therefore, CPCB is conducting a nutrient enrichment bioassay investigation into spatial and temporal variability of nutrient limitation on phytoplankton growth to improve our understanding of the relationships between nutrient limitation and phytoplankton production and biomass in agriculturally devoted reservoirs.


Not available at this time. For further information, please contact Debbie Baker.

Analysis, Results, or Reports

120. Wang, S., A.R. Dzialowski, W.W. Spotts, N.C. Lim, and D.G. Huggins. 2003. Variability of Nutrient Limitation on Phytoplankton Growth in Small and Medium Kansas Lakes. Open-file Report No. 120, Kansas Biological Survey, Lawrence, KS. 59pp.

Maps, Images, or Photos


Jerry deNoyelles

Donald Huggins