Epilithic periphyton and detritus studies in a subalpine stream

350 210 Stroud Water Research Center

Perkins, M.A., and L.A. Kaplan. 1978. Hydrobiologia 57:103–109.

doi: 10.1007/BF00016453


The accumulation of epilithic periphyton in Ward Creek, a permanent stream within the Lake Tahoe basin, California, was measured weekly at three stations from July through September, 1972. Subsamples were analyzed for total carbon and adenosine triposphate content. The mean total carbon content at three stations over the period of investigation was 0.508 ± 0.263 mg carbon cm−2. Live biomass, as estimated from ATP measurements, averaged 0.121 ± 0.115 mg carbon cm 2. It was estimated that approximately 76% of the organic carbon accumulating on rock substrates was present as detritus. Scanning electron microscopy of rock substrates suggested that much of this detrital accumulation may consist of diatom stalk materials.