Date of Award

Spring 2004

Document Type

Legacy Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)


Marine Science


College of Science

First Advisor

Eric T. Koepfler


Numerous microalgae which can be found in coastal settings in the South Eastern United States are considered to be harmful algal bloom species, in that they release toxins or have structural characteristics that are harmful to animal life. One group that has occurred abundantly in South Carolina waters is raphidophytes. Recent research by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources has found an exceptionally high prevalence of raphidophyte blooms in brackish lagoonal ponds in the southern coastal region of the state. The ponds are shallow isolated water bodies, which are often located close to the ocean. Extreme fluctuations in physical conditions are common in these environments and may help explain the prevalence of raphidophytes. A prevalent species of raphidophyte will be incubated in cultures under five salinity conditions with constant temperature. These cultures will be time course sampled to provide cell abundance and cell size for the species. It is hypothesized that the conditions supporting optimal growth of this species in culture will correlate with similar salinity conditions that support the blooms of this species in the field. If this hypothesis is not supported then it is likely that factors controlling the occurrence of various species blooms in ponds are more closely controlled by non-physical factors such as selective grazing and water chemistry.