, Volume 139, Issue 2, pp 177–192

Changes in periphytic algal community structure as a consequence of short herbicide exposures

  • L. G. Goldsborough
  • G. G. C. Robinson

DOI: 10.1007/BF00028101

Cite this article as:
Goldsborough, L.G. & Robinson, G.G.C. Hydrobiologia (1986) 139: 177. doi:10.1007/BF00028101


Effects of the triazine herbicides simazine and terbutryn on total biovolume and community structure of haptobenthic periphytic algal communities within in situ marsh enclosures are described. Levels of biovolume inhibition in excess of 98% relative to an untreated control were observed at all levels of terbutryn tested (0.01, 0.1 and 1.0 mg l−1). No reduction in total biovolume was observed at 0.1 mg l−1 simazine, with increasing inhibition (to 98%) at 1.0 and 5.0 mg l−1. Following incidental enclosure flooding and removal of herbicide, increases in biovolume were observed in all but the highest treatment levels, with rates of colonization similar to that of the control.

Pre-flood community structure of periphyton in simazine-treated enclosures was qualitatively similar to that of the control, while a small blue-green alga was abundant only in terbutryn-treated enclosures. After flooding, substratum colonization in most experimental enclosures was dominated by the diatom Cocconeis placentula, while this taxon accounted for about 25% of total biovolume on substrata from the control and 0.1 mg l−1 simazine enclosures. It is concluded that periphyton successional processes, which normally lead to the development of a complex 3-dimensional mat, may be averted by short herbicide exposures.


algae community structure ecology enclosures herbicides periphyton 

Copyright information

© Dr W. Junk Publishers 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. G. Goldsborough
    • 1
  • G. G. C. Robinson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BotanyUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada
  2. 2.Department of BotanyUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada

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