The presence or absence of biogenic Si particles (diatom frustules, chrysophyte stomatocysts, and phytoliths) was determined in suspended matter samples and uppermost 2-cm sediment samples of sites 1, 5, and 10. In addition, feces and grass samples were prepared to check their phytolith contents. Samples were prepared for light microscopy (LM) following the method described in (43). Small parts of the sample were cleaned by adding 37% H2O2 and heating to 80°C for about 1 hour. The reaction was completed by addition of KMnO4. Following digestion and centrifugation (three times for 10 min at 3700g), the cleaned material was diluted with distilled water to avoid excessive concentrations of diatoms and phytoliths on the slides. Cleaned diatom material was mounted in Naphrax. The slides were analyzed using an Olympus BX53 microscope, equipped with Differential Interference Contrast (Nomarski) and the Olympus UC30 Imaging System. The variation in biogenic Si particles was visualized (fig. S1) and was counted on random transects at 400× magnification, and the relative abundance of each group (diatoms, chrysophytes, and phytoliths) was determined.

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