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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2020-166
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2020-166
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: technical note 27 Apr 2020

Submitted as: technical note | 27 Apr 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal HESS.

Technical note: A time-integrated sediment trap to sample diatoms for hydrological tracing

Jasper Foets1,2, Carlos E. Wetzel1, Núria Martinez-Carreras1, Adriaan J. Teuling2, Jean-François Iffly1, and Laurent Pfister1,3 Jasper Foets et al.
  • 1Environmental Research and Innovation Department, Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology, Belvaux, Luxembourg
  • 2Department of Environmental Sciences, Wageningen University and Research, Wageningen, Netherlands
  • 3Faculty of Science, University of Luxembourg, Technology and Medicine, Belval, Luxembourg

Abstract. Diatoms, microscopic, single-celled algae, are present in almost all habitats containing water (e.g. streams, lakes, soil, rocks) and form one of the most common and diverse algal groups in both freshwaters and marine ecosystems. In the terrestrial environment, their diversified species distributions are mainly controlled by physiographical factors and anthropic disturbances. This makes them useful tracers in catchment hydrology. In their use as a hydrological tracer, diatoms are generally sampled in streams by means of an automated sampling method and as a result many samples are collected to cover a whole storm run-off event. As diatom analysis is labour intensive, a trade-off has to be made between the number of sites and the amount of samples per site. A potential way to reduce this number is by using a time-integrated mass-flux sampler. Here, we explored the potential for the Phillips sampler to provide a representative sample of the diatom assemblage of a whole storm run-off event. We addressed this by comparing the diatom community composition of the Phillips sampler to the composite community collected by the automatic samplers for three events. Our results indicate that during two events the Phillips sampler sampled representative samples, whereas significantly different communities were collected during the third event. However, sediment data of this event, which was sampled with automatic samplers, showed much noise meaning that we could not verify if the Phillips sampler sampled representative communities or not. Nevertheless, we believe that this sampler could not only be applied in hydrological tracing using terrestrial diatoms, but may also be a useful tool in water quality assessment.

Jasper Foets et al.

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Latest update: 30 May 2020
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Short summary
Diatoms, microscopic algae, are regarded as useful tracers in catchment hydrology. However, diatom analysis is labor intensive and therefore only limited number of samples can be analysed. To reduce this number, we explored the potential for the Phillips sampler, a time-integrated mass-flux sampler, to provide a representative sample of the diatom assemblage of a whole storm run-off event. Our results indicate that during two of three events the Phillips sampler sampled representative samples.
Diatoms, microscopic algae, are regarded as useful tracers in catchment hydrology. However, ...
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