SS3.14 An Interdisciplinary Journey Towards Integrated Aquatic Sciences: Homage to Jacob Kalff
Date: Thursday, June 13, 2002
Time: 2:15:00 PM
Location: Saanich
 
CattaneoA, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Canada, antonia.cattaneo@umontreal.ca
 
THE IMPORTANCE OF SUBSTRATUM: REFLECTIONS OVER SEVERAL YEARS OF PLAYING IN THE MUD
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Periphyton is by definition a community living on a substratum. Despite this evidence, the structuring effect of substratum has been often disregarded and slides, tiles, and other standardized surfaces have become the preferred tool for periphyton studies. In nature, however, the available substratum is far from homogeneous. In macrophyte beds, the architecture of different plants exposes epiphytic algae to different light and nutrient exchanges and provides varying amount of food and refuge to invertebrates. Emergent, floating, and submersed plants harbor algal and invertebrate communities that differ in biomass, composition and size distribution. In Quebec streams, mosaics of mosses and cobbles are colonized by distinct flora and fauna, which differ in seasonal changes, size and age structure, and drought resistance. Models to predict the biological response to disturbances in streams and lake littoral zone should primarily consider in which way these perturbations might alter the quality and quantity of available substratum for benthic colonization.