Pictured layered with green algae is Rabbit Run in Walker Township. The increase in algae is primarily due to spouts of drier weather, warmer temperatures and slow-moving water. Of course, this means they are usually more concentrated in the summer.
William Weaver, President, Rabbit Run Association, said, “Healthy lakes and ponds need algae.”
Information online reads, “Algae are important to the productivity of a lake or water body. Algae are primary producers. They use sunlight (through photosynthesis) to produce carbohydrates and are eaten by grazers such as protozoa and zooplankton (little animals like water fleas and rotifers). The zooplankton are, in turn, grazed upon by fish, which are eaten by bigger fish, and on up the food chain. A productive lake produces large fish and good fishing for humans as well as supporting food and habitat for wildlife and waterfowl. In this context most algae are desirable for lakes.”
The online information adds that algae will grow when they have the right conditions such as adequate nutrients (mostly phosphorus but nitrogen is important too), light levels, pH, temperature, etc. Generally the amount of phosphorus controls the amount of algae found in a freshwater lake or water body. The more nutrient-enriched a lake, typically the more algae in the lake. As Washington lakes and their watersheds are developed, increasing problems are seen with algae. (source)
“Green algae” is the most diverse group of algae, with more than 7,000 species growing in a variety of habitats. The “green algae” is a paraphyletic group because it excludes the Plantae. Like the plants, the green algae contain two forms of chlorophyll, which they use to capture light energy to fuel the manufacture of sugars, but unlike plants they are primarily aquatic. Because they are aquatic and manufacture their own food, these organisms are called “algae.”
Weaver added that the algae will disappear when the water level rises and crests the spillway, or during the next rain storm.