Resources and Practices to Improve Diatom Data Quality Journal Article uri icon



  • AbstractEnvironmental programs in the United States face technical challenges that inhibit the ability to use diatoms in water quality monitoring and assessment projects. Specifically, inconsistent taxonomy can obscure diatom responses to environmental variables. Problems are the result of (1) limited access to a common set of taxonomic references, especially those that are geographically relevant, (2) inefficient enumeration protocols, (3) lack of complete and transparent documentation of taxa, and (4) limited opportunities for continued education, training, and knowledge sharing. However, robust resources and practices are available to improve diatom data quality and interpretation. Several resources improve diatom data quality, including a publicly accessible taxonomic reference ( and recommended practices. These practices include adoption of the voucher floras, random sample assignment, replicate microscope slides, and improved quality control. Finally, the Society for Freshwater Science Diatom Taxonomic Certification Committee is developing educational materials and certification exams to support practitioner training and to increase the diatom research knowledge base. The resources and practices in this article are broadly applicable to improving basic and applied research on diatoms worldwide.

publication date

  • May 1, 2021

has restriction

  • green

Date in CU Experts

  • March 31, 2021 8:20 AM

Full Author List

  • Alers‐García J; Lee SS; Spaulding SA

author count

  • 3

Other Profiles

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1539-607X

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1539-6088

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 48

end page

  • 53


  • 30


  • 2