Preliminary Observations on the Productivity of Periphyton Attached to a Freshwater Artificial Tire Reef

Primary productivity and nutrient concentrations were compared between the periphyton community on a freshwater artificial tire reef and the littoral phytoplankton in Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia, during the months of July, August, and September 1974. Primary productivity and nutrient concentration of the periphyton community were several times greater than that of the littoral phytoplankton. The periphyton community was dominated by pennate diatoms and filamentous green algae. Productivity measurements of the reef periphyton were on the same order of magnitude as the highest periphyton production rates reported in the literature. High Productivity of the tire reefperiphyton supports the hypothesis that freshwater artificial reefs support increased densities of fish and invertebrates by enhancing the productivity of aquatic environments.

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