NAWQA Workshops

Background and summary | Editors and participants | Additional information | Workshop reports | Workshop descriptions

Background and summary

The USGS NAWQA program supported one or two taxonomic workshops per year from 1999 to 2008 to help increase the accuracy, quality and consistency of algal analysis. Typically, one workshop was focused on diatoms, and another one on non-diatoms (soft-algae). Participants included persons analyzing NAWQA algae samples, outside taxonomic experts, and guests involved with other algae monitoring programs (see lists below). The overall purposes of the workshops were to develop common sets of names and concepts to be used by all analysts, to discuss and resolve taxonomic issues within difficult algal groups, and to review NAWQA algal data and general taxonomic issues. The workshops focused on taxonomic issues related to NAWQA samples, and were primarily for the benefit of NAWQA algal analysts. However, participants recognized that the information in the reports contain much information of use and interest to other phycologists, so they are made publically available. The reports have not been peer-reviewed other than by workshop participants. All workshops except one were held at the Academy of Natural Sciences.

The 17 reports completed as of January 2010 have a total of 1600 pages and contain 2486 figures on 281 plates. All reports are available as pdf files (see links above). The descriptions below summarize the main subjects and contents of the reports. Click on "[Introduction]" at the end of each description to see the first few pages of each report that provide more detailed information, including names of authors and participants. The index to the reports is very useful for finding images and discussion of individual taxa. It lists taxon name, report number and figures, plates, and page numbers with images. All diatom workshop reports are indexed; soft-algae report indexing is ongoing. Note that in some reports the figures are not formally organized as "plates."

Back to top

Editors and participants

Editors of individual reports include: Frank Acker, Don Charles, Todd Clason, Paul Hamilton, Sarah Hamsher, Jaclyn Mantell, Eduardo Morales, Marina Potapova, and Ling Ren

NAWQA Algal analysts and frequent participants: Frank Acker, Julie Hambrook Berkman, Todd Clason, Bill Cody, Mihaela Enache, Erin Hagan, Paul Hamilton, Sarah Hamsher, Jeff Johansen, Rex Lowe, Kalina Manoylov (perfect attendance), Lont Marr, Eduardo Morales, Karin Ponader, Marina Potapova, Charlie Reimer, Ling Ren, Jan Stevenson, Jackie White-Reimer, Diane Winter, and Jason Zalack

Other guests and experts: Loren Bahls, Becky Bixby, Hunter Carrick, Dale Casamatta, Ionel Ciugulea, Mark Edlund, Paula Furey, Evelyn Gaiser, Nadia Slavchova-Gillett, Julianne Heinlein, Mike Kachur, Jessie Knapp, Jeří Komárek, Isabelle Lavoie, Nadja Ognjanova-Rumenova, Yangdong Pan, Sophia Passy, Ruth Patrick, Stephen Porter, Jennifer Resh, Peter Siver, Tom Smith, Sarah Spaulding, Roger Sweets, Christine Taylor, Franco Tobias, Rosalina Topalova, Ania Wachnicka, and Christine Weilhoefer

Administrative and computer support, etc: Pat Cotter, Candia Knowles, Pat Palmer, Judie-Marie Roszek, Mark Schadler, and Kathleen Sprouffske

Back to top

Additional information

NADED = North American Diatom Ecological Database. All ANSP Phycology Section algal count data are stored in this database. Taxa names used in the database have a unique identification number (NADED ID).

Explanation of "XXXX-start taxonomy. The NAWQA Cycle I design divided study units (major watersheds) into three groups. Research on the three groups started at three year intervals, one set in 1991, one in 1994, and one in 1997. Each group was commonly referred to as a "start" (e.g., 1991-start). Sample collection began two years after the initial start date (see below). This same pattern continued in Cycle II, though NAWQA discontinued the "start" terminology. Algae taxonomy was typically kept constant for analysis of all samples part of each "start". For example, "1997-start taxonomy" refers to the set of algal names used for samples collected as part of the 1997-start samples. Taxa names were updated every three years to correspond with the beginning of each new start.

Cycle I
NAWQA 1991-start samples - collected 1993 - 1995
NAWQA 1994-start samples - collected 1996 - 1998
NAWQA 1997-start samples - collected 1999 - 2001

Cycle II
NAWQA 2001-start samples - collected 2002 - 2004
NAWQA 2004-start samples - collected 2005 - 2007
NAWQA 2007-start samples - collected 2008 - 2010

Several workshop reports include recommendations for changes that should be made in past counts either to correct perceived misidentifications, or to update names to to current synonyms. Few of these changes have been made in the NADED or NAWQA databases, though they have been incorporated in files used for data analysis.

Back to top

List of NAWQA Workshop Reports

NAWQA Taxonomy Report Index (.xls) - The index lists names of taxa included in most of the twenty workshop reports completed as of January 2010, along with report number, page, plate, and figure number for all images. Index was prepared by Coleen Kinlin.

First NAWQA Workshop (.pdf)
Second NAWQA Workshop (.pdf)
Third NAWQA Workshop (.pdf)
Fourth NAWQA Workshop (.pdf)
Fifth NAWQA Workshop (.pdf)
Sixth NAWQA Workshop (.pdf)
Seventh NAWQA Workshop (.pdf)and 7th Workshop Appendices
Eighth NAWQA Workshop (.pdf) and 8th Workshop Appendices
Ninth NAWQA Workshop (.pdf)
Tenth NAWQA Workshop (.pdf) - Jun. 2002
Eleventh NAWQA Workshop (.pdf) - Nov. 2003
Twelfth NAWQA Workshop (.pdf) - Feb. 2004
Thirteenth NAWQA Workshop (.pdf) - Dec. 2004
Fifteenth NAWQA Workshop (.pdf) - May 2005
Seventeenth NAWQA Workshop (.pdf) - Dec. 2006
Eighteenth NAWQA Workshop (.pdf) - Apr. 2007
Nineteenth NAWQA Workshop (.pdf) - Dec. 2007

Back to top

Workshop report descriptions

 First - May 10 - 12, 1999
      Harmonization of taxa names used in analysis of NAWQA samples by ANSP Phycology Section and Jan Stevenson's Lab at the University of Louisville. Table listing 500 taxa occurring in abundance of >1%, maximum abundance in samples analyzed by UL and ANSP, certainty ranking given by workshop participants, and taxon notes. 20 figures of difficult and unknown taxa on two plates. 21 pages.  See the Introduction.

 Second - November 9 - 11, 1999
      Final inventory of all taxa found in NAWQA 1994-start samples (collected 1995-1998). Continues work begun in first workshop. Table listing all 1,131 taxa, NADED ID, and reference code, plate, figure and page numbers for taxa concepts to be used for identifications by analysts in ANSP Phycology Section and Jan Stevenson's Lab (MSU). One plate with 20 figures of difficult and unknown taxa. 36 pages.   See the Introduction.

 Third - May 1 - 3, 2000
      Update of 1994-start names to 1997-start names (used for NAWQA 1997-start samples, collected 1999 - 2001). Table listing taxa names adopted for analysis of NAWQA 1997-start samples. Table fields: Name in 1994 Taxa List (official list of all names used for 1994-start samples), New Name (proposed by participants prior to the workshop), Category (1 = adopted; 3 = not adopted), and literature reference for new names. Appendix with comments and rationale for updates. 52 pages.   See the Introduction.

 Fourth - October 16 - 18, 2000
      Taxonomy of problematic Navicula and Gomphonema species. Written summary of discussion on six species "complexes." 118 figures on 12 plates. 40 pages.   See the Introduction.

 Fifth - June 13 - 15, 2001
      Taxonomy of problematic Navicula species. Written summary of discussion on six species "complexes." Appendix with guidelines for adding new taxa and designating uncertain and undescribed taxa. Corrected table of updates from 1994-start to 1997-start taxonomy (original included in third workshop report). 192 figures on 7 plates. 59 pages.   See the Introduction.

 Sixth - June 19 - 21, 2002
      Taxonomy of problematic Gomphonema species. Written summary of discussion on four species "complexes." Criteria for identification. Section on Gomphonema taxa from the Florida Everglades. 294 figures on 17 plates. 37 pages.   See the Introduction.

 Seventh - May 10 - 13, 2002
      Taxonomy of problematic Nitzschia species. Written summary of discussion on five species "complexes." Separate appendix includes three Microsoft PowerPoint presentations. 315 LM and SEM figures on 17 plates. 36 pages.   See the Introduction.

 Eighth - October 25 - 27, 2002
      Update of 1997-start names to 2001-start names (used for NAWQA 2001-start samples, collected 2002 - 2004). Table listing undetermined taxa not assigned to a genus appearing in NAWQA 1997-start samples. Comments on adopted / accepted new genera names. Separate Appendices: Appendix 1, 1997-Start taxa list used during the 8th Workshop (Table fields: NADED ID, Taxon Name in 1997-Start List, Taxon Name in 2001-Start List, Accepted? (1 = accepted, 3 = not accepted), Authority, Reference, Comments); Appendix 2, Official 2001-Start list (table fields: NADED ID, Taxon Name in 2001-Start List, Geometric Shape). 25 LM and SEM figures on two plates, one of Staurosira and one of undetermined centrics. 25 pages.   See the Introduction and the complete document (.pdf).

 Ninth - December 13 - 15, 2002
      Establishment of 2001-Start non-diatom algae taxa names and concepts. Includes five appendices: Appendix A, Workshop Agenda; Appendix B, Outline of Cyanophyte Taxonomy (Family and Subfamily names and characteristics); Appendix C, Annotated List of Non-Diatom Algae References and Monographs; Appendix D, 2001-Start NAWQA Non-diatom Algal Taxa List (Table fields: NADED ID, Taxon Name); Appendix E, 2001-Start NAWQA Non-diatom Algae Taxonomic Changes (nomenclatural changes to be applied to pre-2001-start non-diatom algae counts; table fields: Original Taxon ID and Name, Currently Used Taxon ID and Name, Remarks). 90 pages.  See the Introduction and the complete document (.pdf).

 Tenth - June 13 - 15, 2002
      Taxonomy of problematic Achnanthes-like species. Written summary of discussion of four species "complexes." Example report format and explanation. Includes Appendix 1, "NAWQA samples that require changes" (name corrections to previous NAWQA counts based on workshop results). 328 figures on 21 plates. 120 pages.   See the Introduction.

 Eleventh - November 21 - 24, 2003
      Taxonomy of Cyanophyta and Chlorophyta. Notes on Dr. Jeří Komárek (University of South Bohemia) lectures on Oscillatoriales. Review of the genus Homoeothrix. Review of Hydrocoleum brebissonii. Includes four appendices: Appendix A, Workshop Agenda; Appendix B, Workshop Participants; Appendix C, Table of characters from “Tapinothrix-type” Homoeothrix specimens from USGS NAWQA samples from throughout the United States; Appendix D, Images of algal species observed during the 11th USGS NAWQA Workshop on Harmonization of Algal Taxonomy. 34 figures, including 32 color LM of soft algae. 47 pages.   See the Introduction.

 Twelfth - February 26 - 29, 2004
      Taxonomy of problematic Staurosira, Staurosirella and Fragilaria species. Written summary of discussion on five species "complexes." 430 LM and SEM figures on 47 plates. 193 pages.  See the Introduction.

 Thirteenth - December 9 - 12, 2004
      Taxonomy of problematic Synedra ulna species. Sections entitled: Synedra ulna (Nitzsch) Ehrenberg and Allies from Rivers in the United States; A Survey of Synedra Taxa in NAWQA Material. Includes two appendices. Appendix 1, Iconotypes and literature review of Synedra ulna and related taxa; Appendix 2, Illustration of specimens used as models for diagrams in Patrick and Reimer (1966, The Diatoms of The United States). 267 LM and SEM figures on 43 plates. 162 pages.  See the Introduction.

 Fourteenth - January 14 - 16, 2004 [Report nearly complete]
      Discussion of soft-algae data analysis with respect to NAWQA Program goals, review of approaches to cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) taxonomy, taxonomic harmonization of Chlorophyta (green algae) and other algal groups. Minimal text characterizing discussions. No algal images.   See the Introduction.

 Fifteenth - April 28 - May 1, 2005
      Update of 2001-start names to 2004-start names. Comments on adopted / accepted new genus names. Reviews of taxonomy of Gyrosigma, Karayevia and Kolbesia, and two Nitzschia species. Includes three appendices: Appendix 1, Part 1, 2004-Start taxa list used during the 15th workshop (table fields: NADED ID, Family (current in NADED from Simonsen, 1979), NEW FAMILY (Round et al., 1990), Family Authority, NEW FAMILY (Krammer and Lange-Bertalot, 1986-91), Family Authority, Family (new proposed), Family Authority, Full Name as in 2001-Start taxonomy system, Status, New taxon from literature/correction, Authorities, Reference, Comments); Appendix 1, Part 2, Change system to upgrade 2001-Start to 2004-Start taxonomy (table fields: Old NADED ID, Old Taxon Name, New NADED ID, New Taxon Name, References, Comments, Change System ID); Appendix 2, Official 2004-Start taxa list (table fields: NADED ID, Division, Class, Order, Family, Full Taxon Name, Short Taxon Name); Appendix 3, Additional annotations and references used for taxonomic changes for the 2004-Start taxa list (table fields: Name in 2001 List, Name in 2004 List, Remark). 69 LM figures on 11 plates. 273 pages.  See the Introduction and the complete document (.pdf)

 Sixteenth - May 11-14, 2006 [Report nearly complete]
      Taxonomy of problematic Cymbella species. Written summary of discussion on three species "complexes." LM and SEM figures.  See the Introduction.

 Seventeenth - December 15 - 17, 2006
      NAWQA 2004-start Soft-algae Taxa List. Soft-algae taxa from the NAWQA Ozark Plateau (OZRK) and Southern Florida (SOFL) study units. Includes six appendices: Workshop Agenda and lists of taxa found in the OZRK and SOFL study units. Appendix 6, Official USGS NAWQA 2004-start Soft-algae Taxa List (table fields: ANS / NADED ID, Algae Taxon Name); Appendix 7, Key to Determination of Homoeothrix Species. 120 color LMs on 41 plates. 235 pages.  See the Introduction and the complete document (.pdf).

 Eighteenth - April 27 - 29, 2007
      Taxonomy of Aulacoseira species. Review of NAWQA results, and identification guidelines for 22 taxa found in NAWQA samples; proposed changes in names for existing NAWQA records. 168 LM and SEM figures on 9 plates. 56 pages.  See the Introduction.

 Nineteenth - December 14 - 16, 2007
      Taxonomy of soft-algal groups including the Tapinothrix/Homoeothrix/Calothrix complex, Phormidium species, Stigonematales, Rhodophytes, and some problematic green algae. Includes six appendices: the agenda and five Microsoft PowerPoint presentations. 91 color LM figures on 21 plates. 233 pages.  See the Introduction.

 Twentieth - September 26 - 28, 2008 [Report in preparation]
      Update of NAWQA 2004-start Soft-algae Taxa List. Also, review of taxa found in NAWQA samples collected in the northwest United States, with focus on heterocystic blue-green filaments (Nostoc, Anabaena, Stigonema, etc.) and prostrate greens (e.g., Gongrosira). Color LM figures.   See the Introduction.

Back to top