Leah Cook

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

Gary Hannan, PhD


Road salt application and salt-laden run-off are common, yet little information exists about its influence on periphyton. I measured extracelluar enzyme activity and photosynthetic activity of natural winter stream periphyton communities under various short-term laboratory salt exposures. The results of this study suggest that short-term exposure to increased concentrations of salt did not affect extracelluar enzyme activity but could temporarily reduce the photosynthetic activity of the periphyton. Further work will be necessary to understand the longterm effects of increased salt concentrations on periphyton and extracellular enzyme activity.

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