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Biological tests for the assessment of eutrophication in running waters

Biological tests for the assessment of eutrophication in running waters

Zeitschrift fuer Wasser- und Abwasser- Forschung 21(6): 240-247

In the course of the progressive biological treatment of waste waters the eutrophication problems arising in flowing waters as a consequence of nutrient release and algae growth come increasingly into the centre of attention. Whereas for lakes and ponds there is an extensive theoretical knowledge of how algae react to change in nutrient supply, research work on interrelations between nutritive substances and algae development in flowing waters is still in full progress. For this reason, the possibilities and limitations of applying biological tests to elaboration of bases for water-resources management decisions were the subject of discussion in working group. As a result, a survey of the investigations conducted in the Federal Republic of Germany on eutrophication phenomena in running waters and recommendations for future research are presented. As in flowing water favourable conditions for algae exist in most cases only during shorter periods, the nutrient reserves are seldom transformed completely into an algae biomass. This fact infers that Liebig's law and the algae-growth potential tests introduced in limnology have but a restricted evidence in the assessment of eutrophication processes in streams. Of higher importance than the relationship between nutrient supply and maximum of biomass that can be produced is usually the interrelation between nutrient supply and algae growth rate. In planning eutrophication tests this must be taken into consideration. Concerning algae-growth tests, which are performed in order to assess the effects of nutritive substances on algae in running waters as well as the influence of phosphate precipitation in waste waters on algae growth, basic regulations are published.

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