Periphytic diatoms in the presence of a cyanobacterial bloom: a case study of the Vrutci Reservoir in Serbia



Aneumastus stroesei, diatom diversity, diatom indices, TDIL, Vrutci Reservoir


Paper description:

  • Diatoms are excellent bioindicators, but adjustment of diatom indices for lentic ecosystems is under development and diatom ecology relative to cyanobacterial blooms is not adequately described.
  • Ignoring the cyanobacterial bloom, 79 diatom taxa were recorded in the Vrutci reservoir. We emphasized applicability of the Trophic Diatom Index for Lakes (TDIL) for water quality assessment in lentic environments.
  • The species Aneumastus stroeseii, detected for the first time in Serbia, is a significant contribution to its biogeography. Our results provide a baseline for consideration of the TDIL for additional testing and incorporation in local water quality legislation.

Abstract: Despite their unique ecology and implications for ecological assessment, diatoms in lentic ecosystems are still insufficiently studied in both scientific research and operational monitoring. In particular, the ecology of periphytic diatoms relative to the global expansion of cyanobacterial blooms in lakes has not been described at all. This study aims to describe the diversity and dynamics of a periphytic diatom community in the Vrutci Reservoir during Planktothrix rubescens bloom, and to evaluate the adequacy of standard diatom index implementation in lentic ecosystems relative to the diatom index adapted for lakes – the Trophic Diatom Index for Lakes (TDIL). The study was conducted in the Vrutci Reservoir in western Serbia. Periphyton was developed on an artificial glass substrate during the summer of 2015, following a depth gradient of a stratified water column. Diatom diversity and abundance, as well as diatom indices were estimated. Discounting the cyanobacterial bloom, 79 taxa of diatoms were recorded and among them the species Aneumastus stroesei as the first representative of the entire genus Aneumastus ever to be detected in Serbia. Diatom distribution along the depth gradient was clearly associated with shifts in environmental conditions. TDIL showed an advantage over standard diatom indices in terms of stability during experimental period and uniformity along the depth gradient, indicating the necessity for further testing of this index performance in lakes, and consequently local water-quality legislation update.

Received: November 20, 2018; Revised: December 21, 2018; Accepted: January 17, 2019; Published online: January 23, 2019

How to cite this article: Trbojević IS, Predojević DD, Subakov-Simić GV, Krizmanić JŽ. Periphytic diatoms in the presence of a cyanobacterial bloom: A case study of the Vrutci Reservoir in Serbia. Arch Biol Sci. 2019;71(2):215-23.


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How to Cite

Trbojević IS, Predojević DD, Subakov Simić GV, Krizmanić J Ž. Periphytic diatoms in the presence of a cyanobacterial bloom: a case study of the Vrutci Reservoir in Serbia. Arch Biol Sci [Internet]. 2019Jun.4 [cited 2022Jan.19];71(2):215-23. Available from:




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