Phosphorus Limitation, Uptake, and Turnover in Benthic Stream Algae

Alan D. Steinman, Solange Duhamel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

7 Scopus citations


Phosphorus is essential for life and is often considered either the primary limiting or colimiting nutrient in freshwater ecosystems. In this chapter, we describe experiments that examine how to (1) assess whether or not benthic stream algal growth is limited by phosphorus; (2) measure phosphorus uptake from stream water by benthic algae; and (3) measure turnover rates of phosphorus mediated by benthic algae. Although we use the term "benthic algae," we recognize that the benthic community consists of much more than algae, and this caveat is acknowledged throughout the chapter. Our experimental design involves sampling benthic algae from high-phosphorus and low-phosphorus streams to determine how the communities differ in their nutrient dynamics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEcosystem Function
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9780128132692
ISBN (Print)9780128130476
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Alkaline phosphatase
  • Benthic algae
  • Gross uptake
  • Net uptake
  • Periphyton
  • Phosphorus
  • Turnover

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General Environmental Science


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