Response of Diatom Assemblages to Human Disturbance: Development and Testing of a Multimetric Index for the Mid-Atlantic Region (USA)
Monitoring programs at the state level typically use fish or invertebrates rather than periphyton as biological indicators of stream condition (Rosen, 1995; Whitton and Kelly, 1995; Davis et al., 1996). This situation is rapidly changing as larger, federally funded projects include periphyton sampling as part of their routine site assessments. The results from these studies demonstrate the usefulness of periphyton as biological indicators (Leland, 1995; Charles, 1996; Cuffney et al., 1997; Carpenter and Waite, 2000; Hill et al., 2000). Recent studies have also shown that algae represent more than simple indicators of water chemistry and are often closely associated with direct measures of human disturbance such as land cover, land use, or riparian disturbance (Stewart, 1995; Kutka and Richards, 1996; Chessman et al., 1999; Pan, et al., 1999; Stewart et al., 1999; Carpenter and Waite, 2000; Leland and Porter, 2000).