Purpose and Background
The beta version of the "Dirty Dozen" key was created to introduce the major types of cyanobacteria most commonly observed in New England water bodies. This site includes a simple, photographic guide to twelve common groups of cyanobacteria with microscopic images we have at this time. Our guiding principle has been "simplicity". All photos are taken at the laboratory of Jim Haney or have been donated by volunteers. This guide is not a complete coverage of all of the varieties of genera or species, but provides a basic gallery of the cyanobacteria typically seen in lake waters of New England and intended for monitors who are interested in introductory descriptions of the common cyanobacteria. General descriptions were derived from knowledge and observations made by Al Baker, Jim Haney and Amanda Murby of the Center for Freshwater Biology. Hilary Snook and Shane Bradt provided valuable encouragement and assistance with development of the key. We plan to expand this concept with information on the ecology, toxicity and problems associated with each cyanobacteria genera. The purpose of this guide is to allow users to familiarize themselves with some of the common varieties of cyanobacteria and taxonomic references should be used to further your understanding of the various species and morphotypes that could be represented.
We also recommend using a more detailed guide to the phytoplankton, "PhycoKey" by Al Baker of the Center for Freshwater Biology, cfb.unh.edu.
Contributing UNH CFB students
There are many students that have helped in providing information and aid to the production of the "Dirty Dozen" key. A special thank you to Daniel Stephens, Rebecca Migotsky, Jessica Eisfeller, and Julien Moreau for their extra time working on this site. The following is a list of undergraduates (in alphabetical order) who have worked in Jim Haney's lab on creating this guide: