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Research into lake snow needs co-ordinated approach

Today the ORC accepted a report from staff which highlighted Lake snow algae research as being of national importance and recommending a co-ordinated approach.

This was also one of the key recommendations from a recent workshop where ORC scientists presented evidence that the diatom responsible for lake snow, Lindavia intermedia is almost certainly invasive, with no evidence that it was in New Zealand before 2001. The workshop was attended by representatives from Landcare Research, NIWA, Waikato Regional Council, university of Otago, Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI), Queenstown-Lakes District Council and Environment Canterbury.

Participants discussed possible methods to manage the effects of lake snow, with ORC scientists identifying the possibility of biological control using a parasite to reduce the presence of Lindavia diatom cells. A decision was made to seek further information on what research would be needed.

ORC Environmental Resource Scientist, Rachel Ozanne, said, “Lake Snow has been deliberated at various Council meetings over the last two years and is the subject of research being funded by ORC”.

She also said, “It is our aim to maintain transparency around the work being done on Lake snow. We are undertaking a co-ordinated approach to research and this matter is being discussed with MPI and the regional council”.

Lake snow has been found widely throughout New Zealand with positive identification from archived samples from more than a dozen lakes or lake outlets. It has been persistently found in Lake Wanaka since its first identification in 2002. When present in high quantities, frothy white flocs appear on the surface, giving rise to its snow-like appearance.

ENDS


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