Grazing affects periphytic algal biomass in the periphyton-macrophyte relationship independently of the substrate type and nutrient status

Algae-substrate relationship


  • Monika Tarkowska-Kukuryk | Department of Hydrobiology and Protection of Ecosystems, University of Life Sciences in Lublin, Poland.
  • Wojciech Pęczuła Department of Hydrobiology and Protection of Ecosystems, University of Life Sciences in Lublin, Poland.
  • Tomasz Mieczan Department of Hydrobiology and Protection of Ecosystems, University of Life Sciences in Lublin, Poland.


The macrophyte–algae relationship has primary importance in affecting the functioning of shallow lake ecosystems. However, how substratum type, grazing, and nutrient status affect the relationship, is still largely unknown. Here, we studied algal assemblages covering either the submerged macrophyte, Ceratophyllum demersum, or artificial plastic plants with similar morphological complexity to answer these questions. Nutrient status was assessed as eu- and hypertrophic conditions in two separate lakes. In contrast to previous studies, the algal community on artificial substrates resembled to those observed on C. demersum. Independently of nutrient status (lakes), algae colonised artificial substrates intensively, but the highest algal biomass was observed in the hypertrophic lake. The community of periphytic algae was represented by diatoms, chlorophytes, and cyanobacteria. In the eutrophic lake, rather diatoms were present with high relative abundance, whereas, in the hypertrophic lake, rather cyanobacteria prevailed. Grazing pressure was high in both lakes and in the case of both substrate types, affecting the biomass of periphytic algae significantly. Our results indicate that macroinvertebrate grazing plays a crucial role in affecting periphytic algal biomass, independently of nutrient status and substratum type in shallow lakes.



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Original Articles
Edited by
Andras Abonyi, Institute of Ecology and Botany, Vácrátót, Hungary
Supporting Agencies
Polish National Science Foundation under Grant N N304 3391 33 “Trophic interactions between macrophytes, periphytic algae, epiphytic invertebrates in shallow lake ecosystems”.
Artificial substratum, Ceratophyllum demersum, lake ecosystem, periphytic algae, water column
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How to Cite
Tarkowska-Kukuryk M, Pęczuła W, Mieczan T. Grazing affects periphytic algal biomass in the periphyton-macrophyte relationship independently of the substrate type and nutrient status: Algae-substrate relationship. J Limnol [Internet]. 2020 Jan. 22 [cited 2021 Jul. 28];79(2). Available from: