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Elemental composition of Microcystis aeruginosa under conditions of lake nutrient depletion
Krivtsov, V.; Bellinger, E.G.; Sigee, D.C. (2005). Elemental composition of Microcystis aeruginosa under conditions of lake nutrient depletion. Aquat. Ecol. 39(2): 123-134
In: Aquatic Ecology. Springer: Dordrecht; London; Boston. ISSN 1386-2588, more
Peer reviewed article  

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    Algae; Lakes; Phosphorus; X-ray emission analysis; Microcystis aeruginosa (Kützing) Kützing, 1846 [WoRMS]; Fresh water

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  • Krivtsov, V.
  • Bellinger, E.G.
  • Sigee, D.C.

    Electron probe X-ray microanalysis (XRMA) was used to determine the elemental composition of the blue-green alga, Microcystis aeruginosa, in a stratified freshwater lake during the late summer. Colonies of this alga were initially observed in mid-July, at a time when phosphorus concentration in the lake water had decreased to minimal levels (total P 0.04 mg l−1). The P quota of these cells was high (mean concentration 132 mmol kg−1 dry weight) with a cell P to lake water P concentration ratio of 105. The elemental concentrations of Microcystis remained relatively stable throughout the sampling period (July–September), with mean cell concentrations of Mg, P, S and Ca showing no significant changes. Mean elemental ratios and the ratio of monovalent/divalent cations were also relatively constant (SE <10%  mean). The pattern of cell elemental associations, determined by Factor and Pearson correlation analysis, was consistent throughout – with Mg, P, K and S forming a core tetrad of inter-correlated elements. The relative constancy of cell composition seen in Microcystis would be expected of an alga with a K-selection strategy. The continued high P quota over a period of nutrient depletion in lake water is consistent with the ability of this alga to sink to nutrient-rich lower regions of the water column.

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