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Growth, maturation and photosynthesis of the brackish water alga Rhizoclonium sp. (Cladophoraceae, Chlorophyta) in relation to salinity

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The effects of salinity on growth, maturation and photosynthesis were examined in the filamentous alga Rhizoclonium sp. (Cladophoraceae, Chlorophyta) growing in a brackish water habitat in a canal draining into Tokyo Bay, Japan. In this habitat Rhizoclonium sp. was exposed to a wide salinity range, both daily, 5−23‰ during November 1996, and hourly, 6−24‰ during the spring tide day. From the results of culture experiments, growth and maturation of Rhizoclonium sp. occurred in the wide salinity range of 10−40‰ at 20 µmol photons m−2s−1 at 20°C, but did not occur at salinity of 0‰. Light saturation on the photosynthesis-irradiance curve at 20°C at 20‰ was reached at 100 µmol photons m−2s−1, which is characteristic for shade-adapted algae. On the photosynthesis-salinity curve at 20°C at saturated irradiance (160 µmol photons m−2s−1), the net photosynthetic rate increased with increasing salinity up to 30‰ but decreased at 40‰. On the photosynthesis-salinity curve at 20°C at 20 µmol photons m−2s−1 (at near in situ irradiance), the photosynthetic rates were almost the same in the salinity range from 0 to 40‰. Therefore, this species is able to grow, reproduce and photosynthesize with a relative efficiency in a wide salinity range, which shows that it is well adapted to a brackish water environment.
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Keywords: Rhizoclonium; brackish water; growth; maturation; photosynthesis

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Marine Biology Department, Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108−8477, Japan

Publication date: September 1, 2004

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