Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department or School


Committee Member

Steven N. Francoeur, PhD, Chair

Committee Member

Peggy Liggit, PhD

Committee Member

Kristin Judd, PhD


Water quality monitoring has traditionally been done by measuring periphytic algal biomass that has grown on fertilized or unfertilized patches of habitat produced by nutrientdiffusing substrata (NDS). This method requires the destruction of the accumulated periphyton communities and thus does not allow for convenient monitoring through time. Optical fluorometric methods of estimating biomass and photosynthetic activity have been used in saline environments, but generally not over different nutrient treatments and not for a substantial duration. This study evaluated the use of a pulse amplitude modulated (PAM) fluorometer for measuring biomass and photosynthetic activity in conjunction with NDS over several weeks. The results of this study suggest that this is a comparable methodology not only for measuring periphytic responses to nutrients but also for evaluating the effect the nutrient changes have on overall photosynthetic efficiency.

Included in

Biology Commons