We collected periphyton by allowing them to grow on glass slides. We took three microscope slides and sandwiched them together using rubber bands with poster board in between; this allowed room for water to run through and periphyton to grow on the slides. The contraptions were put into three spots in Sylvan stream roughly 100 meters apart. Two sets of slides were placed in each location; they were tied to a string attached to a stick in the ground next to the stream to secure them. The slides were submerged roughly 12 inches under the water.
We collected one set of the slides from each location after one week. We counted different species in a 2 mm diameter circle from all 9 slides under a microscope; the different species were put into five categories based on their shape which include, slivers, small tinted rectangles, small clear rectangles, large rectangles, and ovals. We collected the second sets after two weeks and performed the same counting technique for the slides.
We created two different types of graphs to display the data. We created a bar graph for each location showing the average number of species found on each slide. And we created a pie chart that shows the average proportion of each species at the three locations.