Competition between Staurastrum luetkemuellerii (chlorophyceae) and Microcystis aeruginosa (cyanophyceae) under varying modes of phosphate supply

Yngvar Olsen*, Olav Vaddtein, Tom Andersen, Arne Jensen

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    44 Citations (Scopus)


    The desmid Staurastrum luetkemuellerii Donat et Ruttner and the cyanobacterium Microcystis aeruginosa Kütz. were grown in mixed cultures with various phosphate (Pi) additions. One pulse of Pi each day (semi‐continuous cultures) favored M. aeruginosa whereas S. luetkemuellerii was favored when the same quantity of Pi was supplied continuously (chemostats). Both species coexisted under P limitation provided that the nutrient was supplied in an appropriate mode. The ability of each species to compete for P depended on their Pi uptake characteristics and their capability to retain the accumulated Pi. High affinity in uptake at low Pi concentrations contributed considerably to the growth eficiency of S. luetkemuellerii under continuous supply of PiM. aeruginosa was, however, consistently superior to S. luetkemuellerii in accuniulatiug the newly added P, but had a high rate of Pi release. In both ‐types of cultures, a net high of P went from M. aeruginosa to S. luetkemuellerii. The kinetic characteristics of the two species were used to simulate the outcome of competition experiments. Simulations agreed with the experimental data f both uptake and Pi release were considered in the model. The zlariable P*(the concentration of Pi at which the net uptake is equal to μ·QP is a function of uptake and release of Pi but could not explain the chemostat results. S. luetkemuellerii was the winner in many experiments even if its P*was higher thou that of M. aeruginosa. Thus, in the present case Pc (the concentration at which the net uptake is zero) was a better predictor of the ability to compete for Pi under steady state as well as transient conditions in the Pi supply.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)499-508
    Number of pages10
    JournalJournal of Phycology
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1989


    • competition
    • continuous culture
    • Microcystis aeruginosa
    • P limitation
    • patchiness
    • simulation model
    • Staurastrum luetkemuellerii


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