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Yes, Maya said different algae were present at different temperatures. Diatoms were much more common in colder waters, and various types of green algae favored the warmer sections.

As the river’s temperature increased, the amount of algae also increased. Then it declined as the water cooled slightly at our final sampling site. I didn’t find this too surprising since very few species of algae are best suited to live in cold waters—and those that are don’t seem to grow very quickly. Now, however, I understand another reason algae grow faster in warmer sections of the river. Algae need bicarbonates to grow and the thermal runoff provides plenty.

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Cast of characters - Maya Crowbes, Dr. A Beadle, Gray Fischer, Viola DeRama
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Q: Are most algae best suited to live in cold water?

GLOSSARY: diatom(s)—single-celled algae, whose shells are made of silica