Research Publications: UM-SG-RS-2012-26


Growth and competition of several harmful dinoflagellates under different nutrient and light conditions.




Li, J; Glibert, PM; Alexander, JA; Molina, ME


Harmful Algae
13 : 112 - 125




Three near-shore type harmful dinoflagellates, Prorocentrum minimum, Prorocentrum donghaiense and Karlodinium veneficum, and one off-shore dinoflagellate, Karenia brevis, were grown in laboratory monocultures and mixed batch cultures. The dinoflagellate cultures were grown on treatments of two ambient nitrogen (N):phosphorus (P) ratios; two N substrates (nitrate and urea) and two light intensities. The microalgae Rhodomonas and Synechococcus were also added in separate treatments to the mixed culture treatments as potential food sources. All tested species grew well on both N substrates. In mixed culture. P. minimum outgrew K. veneficum, and P. donghaiense outgrew K. brevis in most treatments reaching higher growth rates and higher biomass. However, when a third algae, Rhodomonas, was added, the growth of P. minimum was inhibited relative to that of K. veneficum. In contrast, when grown with K. brevis, the growth rate of P. donghaiense was not significantly affected by the addition of potential prey. K. brevis had a longer growth phase, and kept growing after P. donghaiense reached stationary phase, suggesting better adaptation of K. brevis to low inorganic nutrient conditions. The growth of K. brevis was also significantly limited in the low light treatment. K. veneficum overgrew P. minimum in the presence of Rhodomonas, a potential nutrient source. The growth rates of both K. brevis and P. donghaiense were reduced with the presence of Synechococcus. In addition to nutrient competition, mixotrophy and allelopathy were likely mechanisms in determining the dominant species.

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