This species is considered benthic but is a successful facultative planktont with frustules forming bandlike colonies (Huber-Pestalozzi 1942). This species in commonly found in nearshore communities with some occasional populations in open water (Stoermer and Yang 1969). This species is often found in eutrophic waters and seems to respond to nutrient input into the Great Lakes (Stoermer and Yang 1969). In Lake Michigan populations, the greatest abundances have been found in polluted harbors with some populations immediately offshore (Stoermer and Yang 1970). In western Lake Erie, this species increased in number with an increase in pollution levels (Hohn 1969). In Green Bay, this species was dominant in spring collections at all stations and dominant in both spring and fall stations from the southern areas of the bay (Stoermer and Yang 1970). This species is common at all temperatures; however high absolute and relative abundances are correlated with high temperatures (Stoermer and Ladewski 1976).