FCE LTER Journal Articles


Everglades Periphyton: A Biogeochemical Perspective


Periphyton is an important component of the Everglades biogeochemical cycle but remains poorly understood. From a biogeochemical perspective, periphyton is a dense aggregation of diverse microorganisms (autotrophic and heterotrophic) and particles (mineral and detrital) imbedded within an extracellular matrix. The authors synthesize Everglades periphyton biogeochemistry and diversity at the ecosystem and community scales. The primary regulator of biogeochemical processes (material flux, transformation, and storage) is photosynthesis, which controls oxidation-reduction potentials and heterotrophic metabolism. Eutrophication and hydrologic alterations have resulted in fundamental periphyton biogeochemical differences. Elucidation of these processes is required to predict and interpret responses to ecosystem restoration.


This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation through the Florida Coastal Everglades Long-Term Ecological Research program under Cooperative Agreements #DBI-0620409 and #DEB-9910514. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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