, Volume 438, Issue 1–3, pp 157–170 | Cite as

A multi-lake comparison of epilithic diatom communities on natural and artificial substrates

  • Richard P. Barbiero


In a multi-season, multi-lake study of epilithic diatom communities, glass slide artificial substrate samplers provided poor representation of communities on natural substrates. Percent similarities between the two communities averaged only 37 over the course of the study. Overall, natural substrates exhibited greater species richness than artificial samplers, particularly during the summer, although this difference was slight. Patterns of selection and inhibition by artificial substrates of individual diatom species varied by both season and lake. Members of the genus Cymbella, particularly C. microcephala, appeared to be the most consistently inhibited, while Achnanthes minutissima was often selected for. In spite of the great differences between the two substrate types, replicability of artificial substrates was very high, and could prove to be a more important quality in monitoring applications than accurate representation of the natural community.

diatoms periphyton introduced substrates epilithon 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard P. Barbiero
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BotanyNational University of IrelandGalwayIreland

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