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SUMMARY

Studies of the seasonal and spatial distribution of the epipelic algal standing crop and primary productivity were conducted in Marion Lake, British Columbia. Possible biological, chemical, and physical factors controlling the epipelic algal community dynamics were also investigated. The epipelic algal flora of the lake was very diverse, however, it can be generally considered as acidophilic associations of algae. The vertical distribution of the epipelic algae is partially influenced by the amount of light reaching the sediment, but also strongly influenced by the grazing of animals and erosion by wave action. Temperature, light, and grazing by animals all appear to influence the seasonal fluctuations in the algal standing crop. Concentrations of nutrients immediately above the sediment surface appear to be less important as controlling factors. The most important variables influenceing the primary productivity of the epipelic community are temperature, total algal standing crop, and light. Nutrients, again, appear to be less important as controlling factors. The study supports the idea that epipelic algal growth is high in shallow, low nutrient lakes and that the epipelic algal productivity is extremely important to the total energy budget of the lake.