An exploratory study of benthic diatom communities in stormwater ponds of different land uses and varying biocide contamination

Greta Minelgaite*, Nikki van Alst, Diana Agnete Stephansen, Ulla Elisabeth Bollmann, Kai Bester, Morten Lauge Fejerskov, Asbjørn Haaning Nielsen, Jes Vollertsen


Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

8 Citationer (Scopus)
39 Downloads (Pure)


Stormwater retention ponds receive a variety of urban and highway pollutants that may have adverse effects on water-dwelling organisms. In this exploratory study, the benthic diatom community composition at genus level of nine such ponds servicing highway, residential, industrial, and mixed industrial/residential catchments was examined. Thirteen biocides were measured in the pond water as one of the possible explanatory factors for diatom taxonomic variability. The uppermost 1 cm of sediment was sampled, and a total of 50 diatom genera were identified. Moderate to high similarities were found among the diatom communities of the ponds. Two genera, namely Navicula and Nitzschia, were the most abundant and accounted for 19–47% of the relative abundance in the ponds. Estimated relative abundances of diatom genera and measured biocide concentrations in the ponds were grouped according to land use. Highway ponds were found to be significantly different from ponds servicing residential and industrial catchments, while no significant differences were found between residential and industrial ponds. The presence of biocides alone could not explain diatom taxonomic variability, although some evidence was found that communities differed depending on the catchment type of the ponds. The results of this exploratory study are an important contribution to future works investigating stormwater diatom communities, where combined effects of biocides and other stormwater contaminants and community stressors, e.g., metals, PAHs, road salt, should be explicitly looked at.

TidsskriftAquatic Ecology
Udgave nummer3
Sider (fra-til)761-774
StatusUdgivet - 1 sep. 2020


  • Algae
  • Biocides
  • Built environment
  • Diatoms
  • Pollutants
  • Taxonomic composition


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