Spatial and temporal variation in algal-assemblage structure in isolated dryland waterholes, Cooper Creek and Warrego river, Australia

Glen MacGregor, Jonathan Marshall, Martin Thoms

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    The scale at which algal biodiversity is partitioned across the landscape, and the biophysical processes and biotic interactions which shape these communities in dryland river refugia was studied on two occasions from 30 sites in two Australian dryland rivers. Despite the waterholes studied having characteristically high levels of abiogenic turbidity, a total of 186 planktonic microalgae, 253 benthic diatom and 62 macroalgal species were recorded. The phytoplankton communities were dominated by flagellated cryptophytes, euglenophytes and chlorophytes, the diatom communities by cosmopolitan taxa known to tolerate wide environmental conditions, and the macroalgal communities by filamentous cyanobacteria. All algal communities showed significant differences between catchments and sampling times, with a suite of between 5 and 12 taxa responsible for similar to 50% of the observed change. In general, algal assemblage patterns were poorly correlated with the measured environmental variables. Phytoplankton and diatom assemblage patterns were weakly correlated with several waterhole geomorphic measures, whereas macroalgal assemblage patterns showed some association with variability in ionic concentration

    Spatial and temporal variation in algal-assemblage structure in isolated dryland river waterholes, Cooper Creek and Warrego River, Australia (PDF Download Available). Available from: [accessed Jul 27, 2017].
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)453-466
    Number of pages14
    JournalMarine and Freshwater Research
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2006


    Cite this