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Table 2

Structural and functional attributes of the stream benthic soft-bodied algae community used as metrics in IBIs and reported relationships with environmental variables. Positive relationships are in regular font, negative relationships are italicized. (*) indicates that metric is calculated as proportion from the entire assemblage, including “living” diatom cells. “Algae” refers to entire algal assemblage, including diatoms, “SBA” refers to soft-bodied (non-diatom) algae only.

Soft-bodied algal IBI metric relationship References
community attribute with environmental variables
Biomass category

Total biovolume a, m
Total biovolume* NO2 + NO, TSSe a, e
Cell density a
Cell density* TSS e e, f
Ash-free dry mass (AFDM)* % urban and suburban landc, % sand and fine sedimentsc, TSSc, canopyd, sloped, Cld, SO, TNd a, c, d, j, o
Chlorophyll a (Chl a) * % urban and suburban landc, colorc, Fec, canopyd, Cld, cannel widthd, riparian disturbanced a, c, d, f, k, o
Autotrophic index (AFDM/Chl a) * j, o
Taxonomic composition category
Indicator guilds category, Indicator species category,
Nutrient stoichiometry, Metabolic rates

Species richness* NH, TNe, TPe, PO, TSSe, % agriculture lande, % forested lande a, e
Relative genera richness* Clc, Fec, Mnc a, c
Genera richness f
Division richness* f
Shannon index* g, o
Cyanobacteria (RA)* SiO, agriculture+all human disturbance in riparian zonec a, c, f
Cyanobacteria non-heterocystous (RB, RSR) m
Chlorophyta (RA)* a, f
Chlorophyta (RB) land useb b
Chlorophyta excl. Zygnemataceae (RB, RSR) m
Zygnemataceae (RB, RSR) m
Rhodophyta (RA)* a, f
Rhodophyta (RB, RSR) m
Indicator guilds category

N 2 -fixing heterocystous m, n
cyanobacteria (RB, RSR)
N 2 -fixing algae (RA)* % forested lande, NO2+NO, TNe,
% agriculture+urban lande
CRUS (RB) land useb b
ZHR (RR) land useb b
Sestonic algae (RA)* NH, TNe, TPe, PO, TSSe, % agriculture+urban lande, % forested lande e
Motile algae (RA)* NH, NO2 +NO, TNe, TPe, PO, TSSe, % agriculture lande, % forested lande e
Indicator species category

Sensitive SBA (RB)* % developed land covera a
Sensitive algae (RB)* % developed land covera a
Eutrophic SBA (RA)* TNe, TPe, PO, % agriculture lande, % forested lande e
Eutrophic algae (RA)* NO2 +NO, TNe, TPe, PO, TSSe, % agriculture+urban lande, % forested lande e
Low TP SBA indicators (RSR) land useb b
High DOC SBA indicators (RB, RSR) land useb b
High Cu SBA indicators (RSR) land useb b
Non-reference conditions land useb b
SBA indicators (RB, RSR)
TP algal indicators (RA)* g
Conductivity algal indicators (RA)* i
DIN algal indicators (RA)* i

Nutrient content

Algal C/SA, N/SA, P/SA j
Nutrient stoichiometry
C:N/SA j
N:P/SA j, o
Metabolic rates

Alkaline phosphatase activity* agriculture in riparian zonec, TPd, canopyd, all disturbance in riparian zonec, channel substrate, width, and depthd c, d, f

References: Danielson et al., 2011 (a); Fetscher et al., 2014 (b); Hill et al., 2000 (c); Hill et al., 2003 (d); Porter et al., 2008 (e); Griffith et al., 2002 (f); Leland and Porter 2001 (g); Munn et al., 2002 (i); O‘Brien and Wehr 2010 (j); Pan et al., 1999 (k); Stancheva et al., 2012a (m); Stancheva et al., 2013b (n); Vis et al., 1998 (o). Abbreviations: IBI – multimetric indices of biotic integrity, RB – relative biovolume, RA – relative abundance based on cell numbers, RSR – relative species richness, SA – surface area, CRUS – Cladophora glomerata +Rhizoclonium hieroglyphicum +Ulva flexuosa +Stigeoclonium spp., ZHR – Zygnemataceae + heterocystous cyanobacteria + Rhodophyta, DIN – dissolved inorganic nitrogen, TN-total nitrogen, TP – total phosphorus, DOC – dissolved organic carbon, TSS – total suspended solids, WT – water temperature.

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