Document Type


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Publication Title

Journal of Limnology








A comparative study was conducted that characterized the algae within the neuston, ca 2 mm below the surface, and the algae in the water column from two freshwater habitats. There were significant differences in total algal abundance and the abundance of diatoms, cyanoprokaryotes, and chlorophytes between the neuston and water column algae of these two regions during each season and at both sites. The pond neuston was dominated by chlorophytes, with total algal abundance ranging seasonally from 0.6 to 59.6 x 10-3 cells ml-1 compared to water column algal concentrations of 4.1 to 40.4 x 10-3 cells ml-1. The lake was dystrophic, with diatoms the most common and abundant species, with the neuston algal abundance ranging from 0.09 to 1.31 x 10-3 cells ml-1, and the water column algae from 0.19 to 2.70 x 10-3 cells ml-1. Proximity to the variable nature of the surface layer was not a deterrent for neuston algal development, which frequently reached bloom status and contained a diverse assemblage of taxa.

Original Publication Citation

Burchardt, L., & Marshall, H.G. (2003). Algal composition and abundance in the neuston surface micro layer from a lake and pond in Virginia (U.S.A.). Journal of Limnology, 62(2), 139-142.