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An incubation chamber and a quantitative sampler were developed to measure the primary productivity and standing crop of the epilithic periphyton community in Lake Tahoe. The method allows in situ measurements with minimal disturbance to the natural community. In an experiment comparing the substrate colonization method with the natural epilithic periphyton community, artificial substrate methods underestimated productivity by as much as 95%. The species composition of the periphyton on the colonized substrates was quite different from that of the natural sublittoral epilithic community.
Limnology and Oceanography