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Effect of suspended clay on growth rates of the cyanobacterium Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii

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Recent studies have shown that sediment resuspension may lead to the collapse of C. raciborskii dominance, which suggests that clay might have a negative effect on the growth of C. raciborskii. To test the hypothesis that suspended clay creates an unfavorable environment for growth of C. raciborskii, we exposed four different strains of this species to various concentrations of the clays kaolinite and bentonite, and monitored the biomass of each strain over the course of 1-week microcosm experiments. Contrary to our hypothesis, C. raciborskii was able to grow in suspensions of both clays. While kaolinite clay caused higher turbidity than bentonite, the growth rates of all four C. raciborskii strains were higher in kaolinite than in bentonite suspensions. C. raciborskii could still grow in clay concentrations that cause turbidity far above the levels found in natural lakes. Our study suggests that the reported collapse of C. raciborskii blooms with high concentrations of suspended sediments in tropical shallow lakes is probably not caused by the effects of suspended clay on light attenuation, but rather is a consequence of cell sinking or, possibly a response to disturbance events responsible for sediment suspension.
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Keywords: CYANOBACTERIA; INORGANIC TURBIDITY; LIGHT AVAILABILITY; SEDIMENTATION; SUSPENDED SOLIDS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 December 2017

More about this publication?
  • Fundamental and Applied Limnology is an international journal for freshwater research in the widest sense, including problems of marine biology and brackish water research. Papers dealing with ecological topics are especially welcome in association with experimental or physiological studies. All papers published in this journal are subject to peer review.

    Archiv für Hydrobiologie, now Fundamental and Applied Limnology has been published continuously since 1906.

    Volumes prior to vol. 168 were published under the previous title Archiv für Hydrobiologie.
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