Response of Tetraselmis suecica to nutrient and grazer manipulation

Jian G. Qin, Lyn Pearson, John F. Carragher

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    1 Citation (Scopus)


    Three methods of algal quantification (direct cell counts, chlorophyll a extraction, in vivo fluorescence) were used to evaluate the response of the unicellular green flagellate Tetraselmis suecica to nutrients and grazers. Nutrient enrichment enhanced total cell counts, chlorophyll a concentration and in vivo and DCMU-fluorescence. Photosynthetic efficiency was reduced in the complete F2 medium as indicated by the high level of in vivo fluorescence, whereas photosynthetic efficiency was increased by the introduction of mussels to the F2 medium. The addition of mussels significantly increased the proportion of non-motile cells, but did not reduce the total cell count. The effect of mussel grazing on algae could be underestimated if only total cells were counted or only the chlorophyll a concentration was measured. The results indicate that these three methods measure different properties of an algal culture and are complementary to each other in assessing the quality and quantity of an algal population. Direct algal counting offers a reliable numerical assessment for cell population abundance. Chlorophyll a concentration was closely correlated to the total cell count. In the presence of mussels, in vivo fluorescence did not correlate with either algal cell counts or chlorophyll a concentration, indicating that the measurement of in vivo fluorescence may be misleading for estimating algal abundance under different culture conditions.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)481-485
    Number of pages5
    JournalJournal of Applied Phycology
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 1999


    • Cell counts
    • Chlorophyll a
    • DCMU-fluorescence
    • In vivo fluorescence
    • Mussels
    • Nutrients


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