2016 Periphyton Science Workshop

No Project associated with this Finding

Finding Details

Recent studies have found no significant change in periphyton biomass between 1982 and 2015 (considering all routine sites together). These findings are inconsistent with stakeholder reports and perception that periphyton has become more abundant in the nearshore over the last 30 years. Therefore, a 1.5-day workshop was held on January 28-29, 2017 to understand why nearshore algal conditions might be changing at Lake Tahoe.


The science workshop developed a conceptual model of periphyton dynamics and identified 16 areas for further investigation spanning physical, chemical, and biological factors, that would improve the understanding of the periphyton growth in Lake Tahoe.


The conceptual model presumes that there are five primary controls on periphyton. These are:

  1. Controls mediated by landscape and hydrological variation
  2. Controls mediated by nutrient and organic matter cycling within algal assemblages
  3. Controls mediated by nutrient and organic matter cycling from benthic sediments
  4. Controls mediated by physical processes
  5. Controls mediated by biological factors


The report did not prioritize the relative importance of the individual drivers.


For additional information, view the Periphyton Workshop (January 28-29, 2017) Final Report below.

2016 Periphtyon Science Workshop Report