Estimates of sediment populations of filamentous bacteria were made by a variety of direct count procedures including the use of acridine orange and fluorescein diacetate. and by a viable (most probable number) technique. The counts with acridine orange showed an upward trend with increasing degree of enrichment of the lakes, particularly at the eutrophic end of the spectrum. The distribution pattern obtained with fluorescein diacetate was different, with an apparent upward trend in the intermediate lakes. The profundal and littoral zones of three lakes were examined both at the onset of thermal stratification and in late summer, when they were stratified and the hypolimnion of the eutrophic lake was anoxic. Consistently higher counts were obtained in the profundal zone, the difference being more marked in early summer. There were distinct differences between the lakes in the depth distribution of the filamentous bacteria in the sediments.


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