Thesis Title

Water Quality and the Primary Producers in the Upper James River, Missouri

Date of Graduation

Summer 1981


Master of Science in Biology



Committee Chair

Milton Topping


Monthly water quality, periphyton biomass, and species composition were determined at three stations in the upper James River, Missouri, was determined from May to November 1980. Periphyton cell numbers (cells x 10⁵ cm⁻²) gradually increased during the study, and ranged from 3.43 to 32.9 x 10⁵ cm⁻². Periphyton active chlorophyll a concentrations (μg cm⁻²) gradually increased, and ranged from 0.0 to 38.1 μg cm⁻². Periphyton dry weights (μg cm⁻²) fluctuated monthly and ranged from 3.48 to 22.09 mg cm⁻². Periphyton active chlorophyll a concentrations were significantly correlated to cell numbers (r=.850). Multiple regression analysis of periphyton cell numbers, active chlorophyll a concentrations, and water quality show that nutrients were the most important factors influencing numerical and biomass changes. The dominant periphyton during this study were Gongosira debaryana, Calothrix spp., Batrachospermum moniliforme, and B. vagum. Justicia americana mean shoot biomass ranged from 39.77 to 121.69 g m⁻². Multiple regression analysis of the shoot biomass and water quality showed that nitrate was the most important factor influencing biomass changes.

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