Toxic algal blooms in estuaries and coastal waters are associated with many ecological, economic, and general health effects. Understanding the cause and effect relationships is crucial for developing suitable management strategies. Studies over the years have provided some level of understanding of the eutrophication processes that can trigger these blooms in various environments in Australia. Despite this, the interactions and relative roles of causal influences are still poorly understood at the ecosystem level. This restricts our ability to assess the causes across varying biophysical conditions. Accordingly, this raises debate among scientific communities regarding bloom causation and obstructs appropriate management planning. Moreton Bay has been subject to the cyanobacterium Lyngbya majuscula blooms with unresolved causes since the late 1990s. Thus, this thesis comes from the premise that the conditions essential for bloom initiation may be described generically in terms of tempo-spatial patterns of processes and biophysical conditions. Describing and modelling conditions related to L. majuscula will lead to identifying the multiple causal pathways of factors influencing blooms, and provide the ability to predict initiation in space and time accurately. This will capture the overall conceptual processes and link in scientific understanding and management efforts.

Funding: Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission

Advisors: Dr David Pullar, Associate Professor Ron Johnstone 

Project members

Abdullateef AL SAEED

PhD Candidate