Gastropods and periphytic algae relationships in the vicinity of a small hydroelectric plant on the Pasłęka River in northeast Poland          [RESEARCH ARTICLE]

  • Elżbieta Zębek
  • Urszula Szymańska
Keywords: river, hydroelectric plant, gastropods, periphytic algae, interactions


This study of periphytic algae and gastropods differentiation on macrophytes, stones, and dam substrates and the relationships between these communities in the vegetative season of 2001-2003 was conducted in the vicinity of a hydroelectric plant on the Pasłęka River. Damming the river caused decreased water discharge upstream from the plant, and increased it downstream. Thus, oxygen conditions downstream from the plant improved, but high nutrient concentrations were also recorded. Generally, increased orthophosphate concentrations do not allow river waters to be classified as having good or maximum ecological potential. Damming contributed to changes in the growth conditions of the periphytic algae and gastropods and their differentiation. The highest biomass of periphytic algae was noted on the dam, while the highest gastropods biomass was noted on macrophytes. The periphytic algae was dominated by the diatoms Diatoma vulgaris and Melosira varians (epiphyton, dam) and the chlorophytes Ulothrix tenuissima and Spirogyra sp. (epilithon), while the gastropods were dominated by Lymnea stagnalis (macrophytes), Theodoxus fluviatilis (stones), and Radix balthica (dam). The relationship between the gastropods and the periphytic algae on macrophytes and the dam in spring and summer revealed an increase in gastropods biomass and a decrease in periphytic algae biomass. This was indicated by the negative correlation between the biomass of these communities.


E. Zębek, U. Szymańska [+]
University of Warmia and Mazury
Faculty of Law and Administration
Law of Environmental Protection Laboratory
Warszawska 98, 10-702 Olsztyn, Poland
Tel. +48895246067, e-mail: