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International Journal on Algae
SJR: 0.219 SNIP: 0.261 CiteScore™: 0.24

ISSN Print: 1521-9429
ISSN Online: 1940-4328

International Journal on Algae

DOI: 10.1615/InterJAlgae.v13.i3.40
pages 250-267

Response of Algae to Phosphorus in the Florida Everglades, USA

Th. E. Smith
Ave Maria University, Ave Maria, FL 31142, USA
R. Stevenson
Department of Zoology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824 USA


This study investigated the ecosystem interactions and algal processes in the Florida Everglades, where phosphorus pollution threatens ecological health. Two different studies, 1995 and 1996, were conducted in which algae were sampled along a phosphorus gradient in Water Conservation Area-2A to determine the relationship among phosphorus enrichment and sedimentary algae, floating Cyanoprokaryota mats, and Eleocharis periphyton. The first objective was to explain the effect of phosphorus on living sedimentary algae by using CA, CCA, and Pearson’s correlations. Relative abundance of diatoms declined while Cyanoprokaryota increased with higher P concentrations. Sedimentary phosphorus explained more variation in taxonomic composition of sedimentary algal assemblages than water column or floating mat P. The Cyanoprokaryota with heterocysts, 5 algal genera and 7 algal species were positively correlated to phosphorus concentrations, while 3 genera and 7 species were negatively correlated.