Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Mud Lake, Florida: Its algae and alkaline brown water

November 1, 1969

Mud Lake (Marion County, Florida), in the Ocala National Forest, is elliptical, has an area of ca. 180 ha, and a mean depth of less than 50 cm. The water contains about 200 ppm dissolved solids, ranges from brown to nearly colorless (15 to 100 Pt units), and is always alkaline (pH 7.7 to 10.2). Dissolved Fe, Ca, PO4, tannin-lignin, and the specific conductance, color, and temperature of the water were measured monthly for 1 yr, and temperature and pH were measured many other times during the 3-yr study (1966–1968). The lake is surrounded by a zone of mixed hardwood swamp flora and a floating mat of vegetation and has no submerged higher plants and only 1 or 2 m2 of emergent plants. The lake sediment consists exclusively of minute fecal pellets produced mainly by chironomid larvae and composed solely of blue-green algae. Myxophyceae are represented by at least 10 genera and 12 species, which live exclusively on, or in, the fecal pellets; less than half show a seasonal distribution. The Chlorophyceae consist dominantly of Spirogyra triplicata with minor amounts of Sirogonium sp. and generally occur in enormous winter blooms, correlated with changing amounts of dissolved PO4 and apparently inversely with both temperature and incident light. Bacillariophyceae are represented by 18 species and varieties, but the total population is small. Nanno-, zoo- and phytoplankton are extremely rare, probably because of the prevailing high intensity illumination and the extremely shallow water. Only the fish population is large, and this is dominated by minnows, gars, and sunfish. The midge population is remarkably small. A bacterial inhibitor probably accounts for the small population of bacteria both in the water and in the top layer of the sediment.

Citation Information

Publication Year 1969
Title Mud Lake, Florida: Its algae and alkaline brown water
DOI 10.4319/lo.1969.14.6.0889
Authors W. H. Bradley, M. E. Beard
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Limnology and Oceanography
Index ID 70224626
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse