Date of Award

Summer 8-10-2020

Semester of Degree


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

M.S. in Environmental and Forest Biology


Environmental and Forest Biology

Major Professor

N. Roxanna Razavi


Rebecca Gorney

Steering Committee Member

Nancy Mueller

Steering Committee Member

Kimberly Schulz


Invasive dreissenid mussels cause ecological and economical damage to non-native freshwaters. Dreissenids are implicated as causative factors in cyanobacterial harmful algal bloom (HABs) formation and toxicity in low-nutrient lakes. I used data from the Citizen Statewide Lake Assessment Program (CSLAP) to assess variations in water quality and HAB parameters between invaded and uninvaded lakes in New York State. Only true color differed significantly between lake types, while HAB frequency did not. Instead, lake characteristics, water temperature, and nutrient status were drivers of HABs parameters. Open water microcystin concentrations were also a function of total nitrogen to total phosphorus ratios and did not differ based on invasion status. To better understand methods for monitoring dreissenid populations, an artificial substrate methodology was tested. The methodology did not provide sufficient information on either detection or population dynamics. Citizen science remains an imperative tool for understanding water quality, invasive species, and HABs.