The effects of solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR) on the development of a periphyton community were studied in an outdoor artificial stream apparatus. Algal biomass, species composition, and bacterial cell density were measured under full sunlight and non-UVR (photosynthetically active radiation [PAR]-only) conditions. Attachment of algae was detected on days 6-9. Although the chlorophyll-a concentration under non-UVR conditions was 2-4 times that under full sunlight (PAR + UVR) throughout the experiment, neither net algal growth rate nor species composition differed significantly between the two light conditions. The relative carotenoid pigment contents of attached algae in the PAR + UVR condition were 1.1-1.3 times those in the non-UVR condition. Rates of increase of bacterial cell densities under the PAR + UVR condition were depressed by solar UVR for the first few days, although there were no apparent differences in the rates of increase between the light conditions later in the experiment. The small effect of UVR on the development of this periphyton community may be attributable to low UV flux at this study site and to the experimental conditions under which the algae were kept: a high physiological state with high nutrient conditions. Attached bacteria and algae that colonize substrata first are likely to be sensitive to solar UVR, and the negative effects of UVR are mitigated by the development of a periphyton community.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Aquatic Science