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The effect of current on the distribution of diatoms settling on submerged glass slides

Abstract

Glass microscope slides were submerged for two to six week periods at selected sites in a small, spring-fed stream near Lennoxville, Quebec. Slides were oriented parallel and perpendicular to the current. Qualitative and quantitative data from transects across slides show that diatoms are randomly distributed on slides perpendicular to the current but not on slides oriented parallel to the current. In the later case, most individuals first settled near the upstream or downstream edge of the slide. Non-random distribution is most pronounced on slides containing Cocconeis placentula. This species and two others, Achnanthes linearis and A. minutissima, are abundant and determine most distribution patterns found on slides. Preference of diatoms for the edges of slides appears to be affected by current. We propose a model, based upon water flow, to explain the preferential distribution of diatoms on slides oriented parallel to the current. Light appears not to affect settling patterns to a great extent in this study.

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Munteanu, N., Maly, E.J. The effect of current on the distribution of diatoms settling on submerged glass slides. Hydrobiologia 78, 273–282 (1981). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00008524

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00008524

Keywords

  • Diatoms
  • Cocconeis placentula
  • Achnanthes spp.: periphyton
  • microdistribution
  • current
  • glass-slides