Studies of the Firehole River show that the best temperature for algae
to thrive doesn’t change with the seasons. Rather, it remains close
to the maximum temperature of a particular location during its warmest
time of year.
Most of the time algae in the Firehole are not growing under the best
possible conditions because the river is only at its warmest temperature
in late summer. However, once the river reaches its maximum temperature,
the algae immediately begins to grow faster.
This may help us predict the effects of thermal pollution on a stream.
Imagine that on the coldest day of the winter, the temperature of a river
in Indiana becomes hotter because some of its water is used to cool a
power plant. Based on the observation I just mentioned on the Firehole
River algae, what would you expect to happen to the algae in our Indiana