Response of an algal community to temporal variability of resources

TitleResponse of an algal community to temporal variability of resources
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication1989
AuthorsDeutschman DH
DegreeMaster of Science
Number of Pages62 pp.
UniversityBowling Green State University
CityBowling Green, OH

Competition has been one of the most widely debated theories in ecology. In particular, the role of natural environmental variability has been contested. This project was designed to test for the effect of temporal variability in resources on a natural algal community. The study was carried out on the E. Branch of the Maple River near Pellston, Michigan. Twenty four artificial channels were constructed and dosed with both nitrogen and phosphorus. Nutrients were supplied in two concentrations, one with high nitrogen and one with low. The nitrogen levels were switched at intervals of 12, 24, 48 and 96 hours to produce temporal variability. Artificial substrata were collected and enumerated for taxa of live algae. There were no significant responses to nutrient addition. It was impossible to discriminate between unenriched controls and the nutrient enhanced streams both at the community level and with individual taxa. All channels showed a significant accumulation of flocculent material through the 16 day experiment. This silty material was highly correlated with algal biovolume. It was impossible to determine whether this correlation was due to the physical process of passive accumulation or a biological response to the silty material.