Difference in the Abundance of Periphytic Algae in Soft Sediments and Hard Substrates of Cold Water Streams
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Benthic algae, also know as periphyton, are a diverse organism that inhabits various environments. They play an important role in the aquatic environment, as they are important food source for invertebrates and fish. Periphyton also regulations the exchange of nutrient. These are the reasons for many researchers to examine the periphyton richness and abundance. These algae that inhabit in soft sediments such as sand, mud, and silt are called epipelic algae and ones that inhabit in hard substrates are called epilithic algae. Yet research concerning this topic has only focused on, epilithic algae, the periphyton found on hard substrates. In this study, periphyton from hard and soft substrate were collected to find their biomass using chlorophyll-a density. The result was that density of soft sediments periphyton was significantly more abundant than those of hard substrate in cold water streams. Our study also attempted to find variable that is accountable for the larger population of epipelic algae. Physical factors such as water depth and canopy cover of epipelon’s sample location were collected. However in conclusion, these physical factors were not associated with the greater abundance of epipelon algae.