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.
Hagerthey, S.E., B.J. Bellinger, K. Wheeler, M. Gantar, E.E. Gaiser. 2011. Everglades Periphyton: A Biogeochemical Perspective. Critical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology 41(S1): 309-343.