Big Base and Little Base Lakes are located on Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, and their close proximity to a dense residential population and an active military/aircraft installation make the lakes vulnerable to water-quality degradation. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) conducted a study from June through August 2015 to investigate the effects of water quality on phytoplankton species and density and trophic state in Big Base and Little Base Lakes, with particular regard to nutrient concentrations. Nutrient concentrations, trophic-state indices, and the large part of the phytoplankton biovolume composed of cyanobacteria, indicate eutrophic conditions were prevalent for Big Base and Little Base Lakes, particularly in August 2015. Cyanobacteria densities and biovolumes measured in this study likely pose a low to moderate risk of adverse algal toxicity, and the high proportion of filamentous cyanobacteria in the lakes, in relation to other algal groups, is important from a fisheries standpoint because these algae are a poor food source for many aquatic taxa. In both lakes, total nitrogen to total phosphorus (N:P) ratios declined over the sampling period as total phosphorus concentrations increased relative to nitrogen concentrations. The N:P ratios in the August samples (20:1 and 15:1 in Big Base and Little Base Lakes, respectively) and other indications of eutrophic conditions are of concern and suggest that exposure of the two lakes to additional nutrients could cause unfavorable dissolved-oxygen conditions and increase the risk of cyanobacteria blooms and associated cyanotoxin issues.
Driver, L. J. and Justus, B. G.
"Water-quality Effects on Phytoplankton Species and Density and Trophic State Indices at Big Base and Little Base Lakes, Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, June through August, 2015,"
Journal of the Arkansas Academy of Science: Vol. 70
, Article 16.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uark.edu/jaas/vol70/iss1/16