Aquatic Sciences

, Volume 59, Issue 1, pp 57–73

Methodical approach to distribution of epilithic and drifting algae communities in a French subalpine river: Inferences on water quality assessment

  • Thierry Rolland
  • Stéphanie Fayolle
  • Arlette Cazaubon
  • Stéphane Pagnetti
Article

DOI: 10.1007/BF02522551

Cite this article as:
Rolland, T., Fayolle, S., Cazaubon, A. et al. Aquatic Science (1997) 59: 57. doi:10.1007/BF02522551

Abstract

In a sub-alpine river, the Asse, with an unpredictable discharge regime, chlorophyll, density and taxonomic diversity of both drifting and periphytic communities were studied from a methodical approach. The investigations based on stamping two close cross-sections to know their spatial distributions in a heterogeneous bed substrate showed a heterogeneous pattern of colonization mainly influenced by hydrological variables as the current velocity, the size of the substrata (gravel-pebble-boulder). For the drifting algae, mainly composed with benthic species temporarily unhooked to the substrata, the heterogeneity of the distribution was reduced in fast flow which induced a mixing of the whole mass of water.

For the periphyton, some results indicated that the greatest diversity and the highest chlorophyll concentration were found on pebble substratum where the current velocity was moderate. These results have also shown that the classical methods used to day for investigations were inadequate for most Mediterranean rivers.

It was really difficult to estimate the water quality from classical index created for use in regular large plain rivers.

Key words

Epilithondrifting algaeMediterranean riverpigmentsdensityheterogeneity

Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thierry Rolland
    • 1
  • Stéphanie Fayolle
    • 1
  • Arlette Cazaubon
    • 1
  • Stéphane Pagnetti
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire d’Ecologie des Eaux continentales Méditerranéennes (Case 331). Faculté des Sciences et Techniques de St. JéromeUniversité d’Aix-Marseille IIIMarseille Cedex 20France