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Ecophysiology of River Algae

Chapter in book
Authors S Sabater
J Artigas
Natàlia Corcoll
L Proia
X Timoner
E Tornés
Published in River Algae. O. Necchi Jr. (ed.)
Pages 197-217
ISBN 978-3-319-31983-4
Publisher Springer
Place of publication Switzerland
Publication year 2016
Published at
Pages 197-217
Language en
Keywords Algae, rivers, ecophysiology, Biofilm, Cyanobacteria, Light, Nutrient uptake, Periphyton, Photosynthesis, Waterflow
Subject categories Ecology, Botany, Biological Sciences


Algae in rivers are affected by light, water turbulence, and nutrient availability. These environmental factors ultimately affect algae according to their habitat, growth form, and specifi c physiological abilities. Water fl ow imposes limitations in the diffusion and availability of gases and resources, also in relation to algal size and growth form. Algae adapt physiologically to light scarcity or excess via photosynthetic mechanisms, as well as by modifying their pigment composition. The algal ability to obtain and keep resources is mediated by enzymes, and its ability to use and store materials is specifi c of the different algal groups. Toxicants impose a limit to algal performance and may affect photosynthesis as well as nutrient uptake, amongst other effects on algal cells.

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