Phytoplankton communities in the wastewater plume of the lower Sacramento River

As a highly urbanized ecosystem, the San Francisco Estuary (SFE) has many wastewater treatment facilities discharging large volumes of high nutrient effluent into the estuary. Phytoplankton primary production can be depressed in the presence of ammonium-rich effluent, and ammonium tolerant phytoplankton species can become successful. The direct response of phytoplankton metabolic processes to anthropogenic nitrogen may play a key role in bottom-up structuring phytoplankton species composition and abundance in the lower Sacramento River, CA.