Epiphyton biomass is related to lake trophic status, depth, and macrophyte architecture

S. Lalonde, J. A. Downing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


Phosphorus concentration was a poor predictor of epiphyton biomass when considered alone. Our data do not agree with previous studies that found that epiphyton biomass increased continuously with TP. Instead, we found a very weak, nonlinear relationship between TP and epiphyton biomass, where epiphyton biomass increased up to TP ≃39 μg.L-1, and decreased at higher TP. Season and sampling depth accounted for significantly more variation in epiphyton biomass than did TP. Epiphyton biomass increased with depth in oligotrophic lakes but decreased with depth in eutrophic lakes. Seven common species of macrophytes of differing architecture developed significantly different epiphyton biomass. Macrophytes with flexible, ribbon-like leaves supported lower epiphyton biomass than species of broad-leaved or whorled architecture. The effect of host type on epiphyton algae biomass was not, however, as great as the influence of environmental variables. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2285-2291
Number of pages7
JournalCanadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes


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