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ALLELOPATHIC GROWTH INHIBITION OF SELECTED PHYTOPLANKTON SPECIES BY SUBMERGED MACROPHYTES1

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Author for correspondence: e-mail koerner@igb-berlin.de.

Abstract

Allelopathic effects of submerged macrophytes on the growth and photosynthesis of different unialgal cultures of planktonic cyanobacteria, a diatom, and a green alga were tested in coexistence experiments using dialysis cultures. The method applied allowed measurements under conditions similar to that in lakes but without nutrient and light limitation. Growth and photosynthesis were measured with a pulse amplitude modulated fluorometer as an increase of chl a fluorescence and activity of PSII, respectively. Eurasian water milfoil Myriophyllum spicatum L. and rigid hornwort Ceratophyllum demersum L. proved to inhibit the PSII activity and then growth of the investigated phytoplankton species, whereas sago pondweed Potamogeton pectinatus L. showed no effect. Growth inhibition was dependent on biomass of M. spicatum. Considerable differences between phytoplankton groups and among species of cyanobacteria were found regarding their response to M. spicatum. Members of the Oscillatoriales and Microcystis aeruginosa Kütz. emend. Elenkin were more sensitive than the cyanobacterium Aphanizomenon flos-aquae Ralfs ex Born. et Flah., the diatom Stephanodiscus minutulus (Kütz) Cleve et Möller, and the green alga Scenedesmus armatus Chodat. A possible contribution of this result to changes in the phytoplankton succession of lakes after loss of macrophytes is discussed.

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