Benthic metabolism linked to metrics of the algal community responds to environmental attributes

Cymbella tumida (Brébisson) van Heurck 1880. Credit: TAN Xiang

Benthic algae play a vital role in the element and energy cycle, as they are the most important primary producers and they are also sensitive to environmental parameters of the watershed.

Researchers from the Wuhan Botanical Garden of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Australian Rivers Institute, Griffith University and Northern Arizona University studied the responses of benthic metabolism to environmental attributes at the habitat scale , scope and watershed in South East Queensland. , Australia.

They found that most of the variations in gross primary production (GPP), respiration, and net daily metabolism (NDM) could be explained by the density of photosynthetic photon flux in the riparian zone, total phosphorus in the water, water temperature and percentage of land use. , that is to say a moderately dense forest upstream.

Structural equation modeling indicated that diatom density was the most important predictor of GPP and NDM. In comparison, the use of the biomass of chlorophyll a as a surrogate parameter for the measurement of GPP was only valid when the percentage of diatoms was greater than 75% of the benthic algal community.

These results revealed that the structure and function of benthic algae communities were sensitive to anthropogenic changes (riparian vegetation and forest cover) in river ecosystems.

In addition, diatom density can be a good proxy indicator for measuring ecosystem processes in subtropical rivers, which will be useful for monitoring and assessing river health.

This study was published in the journal Hydrobiology and was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China and a scholarship from Griffith University, Griffith School of Environment in Australia.

Growing dominance of diatom algae in the Pearl River estuary

More information:
Xiang Tan et al, Responses of benthic metabolism to environmental attributes at several scales and its relationship to the structure of algal communities in rivers, Hydrobiology (2021). DOI: 10.1007 / s10750-021-04693-9

Provided by Chinese Academy of Sciences

Quote: Benthic Metrics Linked to Algal Community Metrics Responds to Environmental Attributes (2021, November 24) retrieved November 24, 2021 from -metrics.html

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