Benthic Algae Nutrient Limitation Along an Elevation Gradient in the Poudre Watershed, CO

Parameters: Chlorophyll, Ammonium

Benthic Algae Nutrient Limitation Along an Elevation Gradient in the Poudre Watershed, Colorado Benthic algae are important primary producers in lotic ecosystems, but excess algae can harm aquatic communities. Identifying factors that modulate algal nutrient limitation is critical for effective stream management. In summer 2015, vials filled with nutrient-diffusing agar (N, P, N+P, Control) were deployed in seven Colorado mountain streams, spanning an elevation gradient of 2000 to 3200 meters. In two streams, treatments were deployed in both slow and fast current velocities. Algae was measured after 21 days. Nutrient limitation of each stream was assessed using ANOVAs and contrasts of control versus treatment means.

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Author: Whitney S. Beck, Amanda T. Rugenski, Alexander S. Flecker, N. LeRoy Poff

Institution: Colorado State University, Poudre Watershed, Colorado, USA

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