a) To estimate densities of phytoplankton including HAB species in the MCBs in relation to physicochemical conditions, including nutrient types and levels
b) To evaluate the influence of variability in climatic factors (and occurrence of ENSO events) on phytoplankton community dynamics in the MCBs using historical data collected by the MD DNR and NPS, and data that will be collected during this study
c) To assess temporal and spatial sources (anthropogenic or natural) of nitrogen to macroalgal species causing blooms in order to understand the impact of land-use changes on nutrient enrichment;
d) To evaluate the impact of nitrate, phosphate, ammonia, and urea on the growth of the macroalga, Gracilaria tikvahiae under controlled (laboratory) conditions
e) To determine the nitrogen uptake rates of NH4+, NO3-, urea, and amino acids by Prorocentrum minimum, and Aureococcus anophagefferens using N-15 isotopes technique, under both natural and laboratory conditions.