California Algal Assessment

Description: We recently completed the development of a statewide algal index for bioassessment applications in California’s wadeable streams. We developed multiple versions of the index, using both diatoms, soft-bodied (non-diatom) algae, and a hybrid approach using both assemblages. Additionally, we explored the use of predictive modeling to account for the influence of geographic location on setting reference expectations for index performance. This presentation will review the development of the algal index, the variations in performance across index type and assemblage, and our efforts to advance a DNA metabarcoding approach for generating algae taxonomy data.

Target audience: This presentation will be for those interested in algal bioassessment, biological index development, and the integration of DNA-based methods into routine monitoring programs. The presentation will include technical discussion of index development, with provide background information to ensure it is accessible to a general audience.