Research Task: 8327CM8.8.0
Task Manager: Sam Williamson
The use of diatoms (an algae with silica-impregnated cell walls) as ecological indicators is constrained by a lack of taxonomic consistency among various government agencies and individual researchers. This task will result in development of a database that integrates diatom taxonomy, nomenclature, reference images, maps, and ecological data into a readily accessible WEB resource to help promote taxonomic consistency between various Federal (e.g., the Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program, or EMAP, and the National Water Quality Assessment Program, or NAWQA) and State programs. It will also provide the first detailed ecological characterizations for western diatom species. Initially, the task will concentrate on basic taxonomic and autecological research on a select group of 150 diatom species (out of approximately 800 diatom species in the western EMAP). As a result of completing this task, Western states, especially those in EPA Region 8, will have additional resources to complete periphyton bioassessments and develop an Index of Biotic Integrity based on diatoms. This information will (1) allow State agencies to implement EPA recommendations to accurately assess periphyton assemblages in streams and wadeable rivers, and (2) provide internally consistent and publicly accessible taxonomic data in support of Federal and State compliance with the Clean Water Act. Cooperators include the EPA and University of Colorado.
For more information contact Sam Williamson