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Esparza M.L.,Central Contra Costa Sanitation District | Farrell A.E.,Central Contra Costa Sanitation District | Craig D.J.,Central Contra Costa Sanitation District | Swanson C.,Central Contra Costa Sanitation District | And 2 more authors.
Aquatic Biology | Year: 2014

The impact of atypically high ammonium (NH4 +) concentrations delivered via treated wastewater effluent on phytoplankton community composition was investigated in a tidal slough connected with Suisun Bay in the northern part of San Francisco Bay. Input of effluent to a downstream location resulted in NH4 + concentrations of (mean ± SD) 1021 ± 380 µmol l-1, compared with 2.9 ± 1 µmol l-1 at a site further upstream, and 4.8 ± 1 µmol l-1 in Suisun Bay. Comparison of the diatom community at the downstream site in Pacheco Slough with that in Suisun Bay revealed a substantial overlap in species, including Cyclotella scaldensis, which dominated diatom species composition in both locations. The ratio of diatoms:other phytoplankton biomass (µmol3:µmol3) suggested that diatoms contributed a greater proportion of total phytoplankton community bio-mass at the downstream location (48.6 ± 87) versus in Suisun Bay (9.5 ± 1) or upstream (9.5 ± 8), and that diatoms can readily grow in the presence of NH4 + concentrations varying from 2 to 1350 µmol l-1. In the present investigation, species composition of the seeding population was found to be a more important predictor of final phytoplankton community composition than nutrient concentrations or ratios. © The authors 2014.

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