Concentrations of Selected Metals in Benthic Algae From the Headwaters Region of Crane Creek, Stone County, Missouri

Date of Graduation

Summer 1989


Master of Science in Biology



Committee Chair

Russell Rhodes


Samples of benthic algae from two tributaries at the headquarters of Crane Creek in northwest Stone County, Missouri were collected and tested for the presence and concentration of chromium, copper, lead, nickel, and zinc by flame atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Mean metal levels in algae from the two tributaries were compared using t-tests to determine if the main tributary was receiving higher levels of metals from a liquid metal plating waste dump site than the secondary tributary. Tests showed no significant difference, however algae samples form the New Lead Belt region in Missouri had statistically higher levels of some metals than Crane Creek samples. General trends of decreased metal content in algae with an increase in distance from the source were demonstrated. Metal levels were shown to vary interspecifically with Vaucheria sp. containing statistically higher levels of chromium, copper, and nickel than other species tested. Seasonal variation was also shown with higher levels of copper and zinc in samples taken during summer months. Metal levels in the water itself were most often not detectable. Water temperature, pH, and total alkalinity were constant throughout the study and probably not a factor in the demonstrated variations.

Subject Categories



© Gerald David Kinroth