Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 497199
Title Assessment of the Effects of Light Availability on Growth and Competition Between Strains of Planktothrix agardhii and Microcystis aeruginosa
Author(s) Araujo Torres, C. de; Lurling, M.F.L.L.W.; Manzi Marinho, M.
Source Microbial Ecology 71 (2016)4. - ISSN 0095-3628 - p. 802 - 813.
Department(s) Aquatic Ecology and Water Quality Management
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2016
Abstract In this study, we tested the hypothesis that Planktothrix agardhii strains isolated from a tropical water body were better competitors for light than Microcystis aeruginosa strains. These cyanobacteria are common in eutrophic systems, where light is one of the main drivers of phytoplankton, and Planktothrix is considered more shade-adapted and Microcystis more high-light tolerant. First, the effect of light intensities on growth was studied in batch cultures. Next, the minimum requirement of light (I*) and the effect of light limitation on the outcome of competition was investigated in chemostats. All strains showed similar growth at 10 μmol photons m−2 s−1, demonstrating the ability of the two species to grow in low light. The optimum light intensity was lower for P. agardhii, but at the highest light intensity, Microcystis strains reached higher biovolume, confirming that P. agardhii has higher sensitivity to high light. Nonetheless, P. agardhii grew in light intensities considered high (500 μmol photons m−2 s−1) for this species. M. aeruginosa showed a higher carrying capacity in light-limited condition, but I* was similar between all the strains. Under light competition, Microcystis strains displaced P. agardhii and dominated. In two cases, there was competitive exclusion and in the other two P. agardhii managed to remain in the system with a low biovolume (≈15 %). Our findings not only show that strains of P. agardhii can grow under higher light intensities than generally assumed but also that strains of M. aeruginosa are better competitors for light than supposed. These results help to understand the co-occurrence of these species in tropical environments and the dominance of M. aeruginosa even in low-light conditions.
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