Nutrient and algae data were collected in the 1990s and 2000s by the U.S. Geological Survey for the National Water- Quality Assessment program in the Ozark Highlands, southern Missouri. These data were collected at sites of differing drainage area, land use, nutrient concentrations, and physiography. All samples were collected at sites with a riffle/pool structure and cobble/gravel bed material. A total of 60 samples from 45 sites were available for analyses to determine relations between nutrient concentrations and algal community structure in this region. This information can be used by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources to develop the State's nutrient criteria plan. Water samples collected for this study had total nitrogen concentrations ranging from 0.07 to 4.41 milligram per liter (mg/L) with a median of 0.26 mg/L, and total phosphorus concentrations ranging from 0.003 to 0.78 mg/L with a median of 0.007 mg/L. These nutrient concentrations were transformed into nutrient categories consisting of varying percentiles of data. Algal community data were entered into the U.S. Geological Survey's Algae Data Analysis System for the computation of more than 250 metrics. These metrics were correlated with nutrient categories, and four metrics with the strongest relation with the nutrient data were selected. These metrics were Organic Nitrogen Tolerance, Oxygen Tolerance, Bahls Pollution Class, and the Saprobien index with the 25th and 80th percentile nutrient categories. These data indicate that near the 80th percentile (Total Nitrogen = 0.84 mg/L, Total Phosphorus = 0.035 mg/L) the algae communities significantly changed from nitrogen-fixing species dominance to those species more tolerant of eutrophic conditions.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Algal community characteristics and response to nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations in streams in the Ozark Plateaus, Southern Missouri, 1993-95 and 2006-07