, Volume 390, Issue 1–3, pp 99–106 | Cite as

Temporal and altitudinal variations in the attached algae of mountain streams in Colorado



Attached algae were examined from eight sites in Central Colorado streams (five sites on St. Vrain Creek and three on the Snake River) between June and November, 1995. The sites ranged in elevation from 1600 m to 3500 m a.s.l.(plains zone to alpine zone). Seasonal variation in algal communities were qualified in forms of species composition and abundance (cell counts and biovolumes). The Ochiai coefficient of similarity was used to estimate degree of similarity between communities at different times, on different streams, and at different locations on the same stream. The composition of communities across streams for alpine and foothills zones was very close, but montane communities differed greatly across streams (similarity < 0.1). Temporal variability of attached algae was almost absent in the alpine zone, but was high in other zones. The composition of the alpine community in August developed downstream with a temporal shift: October in the montane and foothills zones, November in the plains zone.

mountain streams attached algae periphyton algal succession 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Valentina V. Vavilova
    • 1
  • William M. Jr. Lewis
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Limnology, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental SciencesUniversity of ColoradoBoulder

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