Algal blooms, especially those composed of toxic phytoplankton, are a global threat to eutrophic and mesotrophic freshwater reservoirs. While extreme hydrologic events such as flooding and drought have been shown to control bloom onset and success, the spatiotemporal dynamics of these relationships are still unclear for mesotrophic reservoirs. In this study, the relationships between hydrologic events and phytoplankton in Lake Allatoona and Lake Lanier, Georgia, United States, were characterized using historical and satellite datasets from 2008 to 2017 and statistical modeling. Results showed that the impact of stormflow and rainstorm events varied systematically from riverine to lacustrine reaches of the two reservoirs on weekly and monthly scales. Precipitation duration and stormflow were the most significant and best-fitting predictors of algal bloom biomass in deeper reaches of the two reservoirs, suggesting that algal blooms in more lacustrine environments may be better equipped for wet and stormy regimes than has been previously hypothesized.
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