Animals & Wildlife Magazine

Study Eyes ‘pond Scum’ Environmental Feedback Loop

By Garry Rogers @Garry_Rogers

Study eyes ‘pond scum’ environmental feedback loop

‘This is important because cyanobacteria are on the increase in response to global change …’ Staff Report FRISCO — Fish-killing bacterial blooms are becoming more common in lakes around the world…Source:

GR:  Too many human impacts happening too quickly.  In hindsight, we may one day see a news story like this as the dread harbinger of a sudden drop in global productivity.

Algae Bloom Background

Pond scum at Coldwater Farm.

Pond scum killed all the fish in one of my three ponds.  After covering the water, the algae began browning in the center and as this spread, dead fish floated.  The other ponds had sufficient cover of fragrant lily to block the scum (the lilies do this by shading the water).  I replaced the killed fish, planted lilies, and introduced duckweed (duckweed also shades the water and it is eaten by ducks).  Within three years the lilies had covered enough of the pond to block the scum.  The duckweed spread, however, and at the end of five years had totally replaced the lilies.  The fish disappeared, and I do not know the cause.  The duckweed has invaded the other ponds and I can only wait to see what will happen as it spreads.  This little story might sound familiar to many of you who have seen the consequences of ignorant attempts to intervene in ecological processes.

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