• Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii;
  • nutrient bioassay;
  • phosphate;
  • phytoplankton dominance;
  • toxic cyanobacteria

The role of dissolved inorganic phosphorus (DIP) in promoting dominance of the toxic nitrogen (N)-fixing cyanobacterium Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii (Wołosz.) Seenayya et Subba Raju was examined in a subtropical water reservoir, Lake Samsonvale (=North Pine reservoir). A novel in situ bioassay approach, using dialysis tubing rather than bottles or bags, was used to determine the change in C. raciborskii dominance with daily additions of DIP. A statistically significant increase in dominance of C. raciborskii was observed when DIP was added at two concentrations (0.32 μM and 16 μM) in a daily pulse over a 4 d period in three separate experiments in the summer of 2006/2007. There was an increase in both C. raciborskii cell concentrations and biovolume in two DIP treatments, but not in the ammoniacal N + DIP treatment. In addition, overall phytoplankton cell concentrations increased with DIP addition, indicating that Lake Samsonvale was DIP limited at the time of experiments. Given the bioassay response, it is likely that dominance of C. raciborskii could increase in Lake Samsonvale with periodic injections of DIP such as inflow events.