Great Basin Naturalist


The purpose of this research was to evaluate the status of phytoplankton in Lake Albion in the Green Lakes valley, Colorado Front Range, with respect to lake acidification. The research was conducted during the inventory phase of the Long-Term Ecological Research program of the University of Colorado at the Niwot Ridge/Green Lakes valley site. Lake Albion is a small subalpine lake on the terminal end of the Green Lakes valley (13 ha, mean depth 6 m, and surface pH 6.51). Net plankton were collected six times during June–August 1984. Ancillary data on nutrients, temperature, chlorophyll a, and Secchi disc transparency were also obtained. Diatoms were identified and assigned to categories based upon their known tolerances to hydrogen ion concentration. The diatom flora was composed mostly of alkaliphilic or species indifferent to hydrogen ion concentration, a characteristic Lake Albion shares with other Front Range lakes. The diatom flora and water chemistry of Lake Albion are compared to other high-elevation lakes.