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Project ID: ND681

Title: Physical and environmental factors influencing the periphyton communities of the Sheyenne River, North Dakota

Focus Categories: Water Quality, None

Keywords: algae, diatoms, River Periphyton

Start Date: 03/01/2001

End Date: 02/28/2002

Federal Funds: $16,968

Non-Federal Matching Funds: $37,610

Congressional District: First

Principal Investigators:
Marvin W. Fawley
Professor, North Dakota State University

Karen Anne Phillips
Research Associate, North Dakota State University


The physical factors affecting the periphyton communities of the shallow, turbid Sheyenne River (North Dakota) have been a focus of our research group for the past four years. Periphyton samples from both artificial and natural substrates at eight sites along the river were collected from 1997-1999. Major ions and other chemical parameters for these sites were determined by the North Dakota Department of Health. The algal species present in these samples have already been identified and enumerated, and some analyses have been completed. Our initial analyses (using only artificial substrate data) have indicated that certain physical factors do affect the periphyton community of this river. However, these analyses suggest that one of the most important factors affecting the periphyton communities of the Sheyenne is the presence of a reservoir, Lake Ashtabula. This project will support a graduate research fellow to expand upon our analyses by critically examining the impact of Lake Ashtabula on the periphyton communities of the Sheyenne River. In addition, analyses of the periphyton communities found on natural substrates will be completed. Results of these analyses should enable more effective water management in the Sheyenne Basin, especially Lake Ashtabula. The periphyton survey of the Sheyenne River will also be concluded by investigating three potentially new species of the diatom genus Nitzschia. The complete periphyton flora of the Sheyenne River will provide an important basis for understanding the impacts of changes in the river, such as the proposed Devils Lake emergency outlet.

Progress/Completion Report PDF

U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Maintained by: John Schefter
Last Updated: Thursday June 24, 2004 3:18 PM
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