An investigation of periphyton community composition: comparisons along the longitudinal gradient of a lotic ecosystem.
Tury, Shanna Fawn
AbstractDifferences in periphyton community composition were examined along the longitudinal gradient of a lotic ecosystem. Various species of benthic algae were utilized as water quality indicators to determine the impact of point source disturbances along the river. Cultural eutrophication of aquatic ecosystems is a prevalent problem and can be monitored biologically with algae. Since algae are constant residents in stream habitats, they are representative of current environmental conditions. This study suggests that the river investigated may be slightly eutrophic due to effluent disturbances caused by a fish hatchery and a sewage outflow. The presence of particular indicator species along the gradient were important in the development of this assumption. Our investigation further reinforces the fact that a balance needs to be established between the natural integrity of the aquatic ecosystem and the anthropogenic impacts imposed by humans.
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