Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract (1) From May to December 1971 at six sites in upstate New York, samples of freshwater Aufwuchs (the largely algal “scum” flora) were collected on sets of exposed microscope slides. Successive standing crop biomass estimates are presented as analyses of total organic carbon (by wet oxidation) and total nitrogen (by micro-Dumas). Nutritional quality of the Aufwuchs can be assessed in carbon to nitrogen (C:N) ratios, and these are correlated with substantive data from concurrent studies on the growth and fecundity of second trophic level snails (Laevapex and Lymnaea). (2) Peak values of carbon biomass for the six sites range from 1.1 mgC/dm2 to 4.2 mgC/dm2, and mean C:N ratios ranged from 3.7:1 to 10.1:1 (corresponding to 29% protein). Higher snail growth rates (computed as increase in mgC/100 snails/30 days) and greater fecundities correlate, beyond certain minimal levels of carbon biomass, to lower C:N ratios in the corresponding Aufwuchs samples. (3) In discussing these nutritional aspects of Aufwuchs production, it is emphasized that freshwater macrophytes have C:N ratios well above 17:1, and are not much fed upon. In smaller bodies of fresh water, the most important sector of primary production is that of the Aufwuchs, and its nutritional quality in terms of lower C:N ratios is of unique significance to the bioenergetics of the second trophic level invertebrates.
Type of Medium: