Four benthic filamentous Chlorophycean species (three Stigeoclonium species and one Oedogonium species) were obtained from two ditches, influenced, respectively, by the point discharges of pig farm and sewage treatment plant effluents. The ditches showed a gradual change in water chemistry, particularly with regard to ammonium-N and phosphate-P. The growth of the algae was studied in artificial ammonium-N (concentration range of 1-100 mg l-1) and phosphate-P gradients (concentration range of 0.1-15 mg l-1), which were based on concentrations of these nutrients in the ditches. Maximum growth in ammonium-N was attained for S. aestivale Hazen Z1 and S helveticum Vischer P4 at 50 mg l-1, for S. aestivale Z4 and Oedogonium sp. Z4 at 10 mg l-1, and for S. amoenum Kützing P2 at 5 mg l-1. Maximum growth in phosphate-P was attained for S. helveticum P4 at 15 mg l-1, for S. aestivale Z1 and S. amoenum P2 at 1.5 mg l-1, and for S. aestivale Z4 and Oedogonium sp. Z4 at 1 mg l-1. It is concluded that the ammonium-N and phosphate-P levels of ditches determined the distribution of the algae along the ditches, and therefore influenced the species composition of the periphyton communities. The study revealed a population differentiation with regard to ammonium-N in two closely adjacent populations of S. aestivale. © 1983.
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