High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and light microscope counts were used to characterize the taxonomic composition of epiphyton and epipelon at seven locations in a subtropical lake. Both methods indicated that algae were dominated by diatoms and cyanobacteria. However, the methods often gave dramatically different estimates of relative biomass among algal divisions, and there was no consistent pattern of co-variation. Large differences in underwater irradiance may have caused variation in accessory pigment to chlorophyll a ratios, invalidating application of the generic HPLC-based model. In large heterogeneous lakes, it may be necessary to use a suite of models, tailored to site-specific environmental conditions, if HPLC is to be used for evaluation of algal community structure.
- Light microscopy
- Pigment analysis