Get access

Comparison of cyanobacterial and green algal growth rates at different temperatures

Authors

  • MIQUEL LÜRLING,

    1. Aquatic Ecology & Water Quality Management Group, Dept. Environmental Sciences, Wageningen University, The Netherlands
    2. NIOO-KNAW, Droevendaalsesteeg, Wageningen, The Netherlands
    Search for more papers by this author
  • FASSIL ESHETU,

    1. Aquatic Ecology & Water Quality Management Group, Dept. Environmental Sciences, Wageningen University, The Netherlands
    2. Arba Minch University, Arba Minch, Ethiopia
    Search for more papers by this author
  • ELISABETH J. FAASSEN,

    1. Aquatic Ecology & Water Quality Management Group, Dept. Environmental Sciences, Wageningen University, The Netherlands
    Search for more papers by this author
  • SARIAN KOSTEN,

    1. Aquatic Ecology & Water Quality Management Group, Dept. Environmental Sciences, Wageningen University, The Netherlands
    2. Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB), Berlin/Neuglobsow, Germany
    Search for more papers by this author
  • VERA L. M. HUSZAR

    1. Laboratório de Ficologia, Museu Nacional, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Quinta da Boa Vista s/n, São Cristóvão, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    Search for more papers by this author

Miquel Lürling, Wageningen University, Droevendaalsesteeg 3a, 6708 PB Wageningen, The Netherlands.
E-mail: miquel.lurling@wur.nl

Summary

1. The hypothesis that cyanobacteria have higher optimum growth temperatures and higher growth rates at the optimum as compared to chlorophytes was tested by running a controlled experiment with eight cyanobacteria species and eight chlorophyte species at six different temperatures (20–35 °C) and by performing a literature survey.

2. In the experiment, all organisms except the chlorophyte Monoraphidium minutum grew well up to 35 °C. The chlorophyte Chlamydomonas reinhardtii was the fastest-growing organism over the entire temperature range (20–35 °C).

3. Mean optimum growth temperatures were similar for cyanobacteria (29.2 °C) and chlorophytes (29.2 °C). These results are concordant with published data, yielding slightly higher mean optimum growth temperatures for cyanobacteria (27.2 °C) than for chlorophytes (26.3 °C).

4. Mean growth rates of cyanobacteria at 20 °C (0.42 day−1) were significantly lower than those of chlorophytes at 20 °C (0.62 day−1). However, at all other temperatures, there were no differences between mean growth rates of cyanobacteria and chlorophytes.

5. Mean growth rates at the optimum temperature were similar for cyanobacteria (0.92 day−1) and chlorophytes (0.96 day−1). However, analysis of published data revealed that growth rates of cyanobacteria (0.65 day−1) were significantly lower than those of chlorophytes (0.93 day−1) at their optimum temperatures.

6. Although climate warming will probably lead to an intensification of cyanobacterial blooms, our results indicate that this might not be as a result of higher growth rates of cyanobacteria compared with their chlorophyte competitors. The competitive advantage of cyanobacteria can more likely be attributed to their ability to migrate vertically and prevent sedimentation in warmer and more strongly stratified waters and to their resistance to grazing, especially when warming reduces zooplankton body size.

Ancillary