Relative nitrogen deficiency without occurrence of nitrogen fixing blue-green algae in a hypertrophic reservoir

M. Présing, Katalin V. Balogh, Lajos Vörös, Hesham M. Shafik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The N:P ratios (TN:TP, NO3-N:TP and DIN:SRP) in the shallow, hypertrophic Marcali reservoir varied about 1, far below the physiological optimum for the planktonic algae. Moreover, N2-fixing cyanobacteria were absent in the vegetation period. One possible explanation for this phenomenon could be the filtration of the stocked silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix Val.), a phytoplankton feeder, and bighead carp (Aristichthys nobilis Rich.), an omnivorous plankton feeder population (600 kg ha-1) which strongly reduces the large sized algae. Enclosure and uptake experiments were carried out to confirm the relative N deficiency in the reservoir and, by excluding the fish, to check whether the reservoir water is suitable for the development of N2-fixing cyanobacteria, or the planktivorous fish are responsible for the lack of blue-greens. The enclosures were free of fish. In one of them the NO3-N enrichment resulted in a rapid growth of diatoms and cryptophytes, confirming the relative N limitation of the phytoplankton biomass. The results of 15N uptake experiments showed a high preference of algae for ammonium. Its actual uptake velocity (19.5 μg l-1 h-1) was much higher than that for nitrate (1.0 μg l-1 h-1). But the relatively high value of the half-saturation constant (32 μg l-1) in the ammonium uptake experiment indicated only a moderate affinity of algae even to the preferred nitrogen source. The other enclosure was inoculated with N2-fixing cyanobacteria. During the 29 days experiment they did not grow in the enclosure and were gradually eliminated from the water column. The results of enclosure experiments suggested that factors such as the relatively high abundance of inorganic N (30-50 μg l-1 ammonium and 90-140 μg l-1 nitrate, respectively) could be responsible for the absence of N2-fixing cyanobacteria in the reservoir, rather than the size selective filtration of planktivorous fish.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-61
Number of pages7
JournalHydrobiologia
Volume342-343
Publication statusPublished - 1997

Fingerprint

algae
Cyanobacteria
cyanobacterium
alga
Hypophthalmichthys nobilis
Hypophthalmichthys molitrix
ammonium
nitrogen
fish
experiment
phytoplankton
nitrates
nitrate
enclosure experiment
water reservoirs
Bacillariophyceae
plankton
silver
diatom
water column

Keywords

  • N uptake
  • Enclosure experiment
  • Filter feeding fish
  • Hypertrophic reservoir
  • Lack of N-fixing cyanobacteria
  • Low N:P

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science

Cite this

Relative nitrogen deficiency without occurrence of nitrogen fixing blue-green algae in a hypertrophic reservoir. / Présing, M.; Balogh, Katalin V.; Vörös, Lajos; Shafik, Hesham M.

In: Hydrobiologia, Vol. 342-343, 1997, p. 55-61.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Présing, M. ; Balogh, Katalin V. ; Vörös, Lajos ; Shafik, Hesham M. / Relative nitrogen deficiency without occurrence of nitrogen fixing blue-green algae in a hypertrophic reservoir. In: Hydrobiologia. 1997 ; Vol. 342-343. pp. 55-61.
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AB - The N:P ratios (TN:TP, NO3-N:TP and DIN:SRP) in the shallow, hypertrophic Marcali reservoir varied about 1, far below the physiological optimum for the planktonic algae. Moreover, N2-fixing cyanobacteria were absent in the vegetation period. One possible explanation for this phenomenon could be the filtration of the stocked silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix Val.), a phytoplankton feeder, and bighead carp (Aristichthys nobilis Rich.), an omnivorous plankton feeder population (600 kg ha-1) which strongly reduces the large sized algae. Enclosure and uptake experiments were carried out to confirm the relative N deficiency in the reservoir and, by excluding the fish, to check whether the reservoir water is suitable for the development of N2-fixing cyanobacteria, or the planktivorous fish are responsible for the lack of blue-greens. The enclosures were free of fish. In one of them the NO3-N enrichment resulted in a rapid growth of diatoms and cryptophytes, confirming the relative N limitation of the phytoplankton biomass. The results of 15N uptake experiments showed a high preference of algae for ammonium. Its actual uptake velocity (19.5 μg l-1 h-1) was much higher than that for nitrate (1.0 μg l-1 h-1). But the relatively high value of the half-saturation constant (32 μg l-1) in the ammonium uptake experiment indicated only a moderate affinity of algae even to the preferred nitrogen source. The other enclosure was inoculated with N2-fixing cyanobacteria. During the 29 days experiment they did not grow in the enclosure and were gradually eliminated from the water column. The results of enclosure experiments suggested that factors such as the relatively high abundance of inorganic N (30-50 μg l-1 ammonium and 90-140 μg l-1 nitrate, respectively) could be responsible for the absence of N2-fixing cyanobacteria in the reservoir, rather than the size selective filtration of planktivorous fish.

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