Water Quality Assessment of Han River Using Diatoms as Bioindicators
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Diatoms are single celled algae characterized by distinctive cell walls composed of silicon dioxide. These cell walls can be permanently preserved with a proper treatment with lugol's solution. Being producers within the food web, they play important roles in aquatic ecosystems, freshwaters and oceans alike. They are highly diverse, and particular species live in specific habitats. These factors together make diatoms ideal bioindicators to perform an environmental assessement. I analyzed the twelve diatom samples of the upper and lower Han River, S. Korea, collected in December 2015. Species composition was determined, in which the total of thirteen genera were identified and the species count of each genus was made. Each species was classified into eutrophic, mesotrophic, and oligotrophic based on TP-TN tolerance matrix established by Potapova and Charles. No significant difference of species composition betwen the upper and the lower regions of the river was found. Along with the observed clear mesotrophyte dominance, my result indicates the mesotrophic condition of the both regions of the river and the ecosystems thereof.