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U.S. Geological Survey Toxic Substances Hydrology Program--Proceedings of the Technical Meeting, Colorado Springs, Colorado, September 20-24, 1993, Water-Resources Investigations Report 94-4015

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Relations Among Algal Species and Chemical Gradients in Pinal Creek, near Globe, Arizona

by

Patrice H. Spindler (Represents a portion of a thesis by P.H.S. submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements of a Master of Natural Science in Botany, Arizona State University. Current address: Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, Office of Water Quality, Biocriteria Program, 3033 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, Arizona 85012) and Milton R. Sommerfeld (Department of Botany, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona 85287)

Abstract

The relations among algal species and water chemistry in Pinal Creek, near Globe, Arizona, were investigated. Periphyton, water, and sediment samples were collected from seven sites during 1991-92. Fourteen species of algae and 16 chemical properties were selected for correlation and cluster analyses. Three major algal associations in Pinal Creek were identified by cluster analysis: an acid- and metal-tolerant association at upstream sites, an alkalophilous association at downstream sites, and an association of ubiquitously distributed opportunistic species. Indicator species of the acid- and metal-rich environment at upstream sites were Microspora stagnorum, Surirella minuta and Ulothrix variabilis. The exclusion of Nitzschia linearis and Vaucheria geminata from upstream sites and their abundance at downstream sites suggest that these species are acid and metal intolerant.

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