Title

Bacterial response to dissolved organic matter affects resource availability for algae

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2005

Abstract

In aquatic systems, the presence of colored dissolved organic matter (DOM) may affect algal growth in numerous ways. This paper focuses on the effects of DOM on resource availability. DOM contains nitrogen and phosphorus, which may become available following microbial or photochemical degradation. Also, addition of DOM may stimulate bacterial growth, which in turn may change the availability of nitrogen, phosphorus, and inorganic carbon to algae. Experiments conducted in a moderately colored lake showed that the effect of DOM on algal growth depended on the amount of nutrients present in the peat extract and on bacterial response to DOM. There was evidence for competition for phosphorus between algae and bacteria in some treatments. In addition, when both bacteria growth and algal growth were high, bacterial respiration of DOM alleviated algal carbon limitation by providing algae with an inorganic carbon source. Thus, the degree to which bacteria are stimulated by the addition of DOM will affect the amount of phosphorus and inorganic carbon available for algal growth. These results suggest that part of the difficulty in predicting algal response to changes in DOM and nutrient concentration may be due partially to variability in bacterial responses.

Comments

Copyright National Research Council of Canada Feb 2005.

Publication Title

Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences

Published Citation

Klug, J. L. (2005). Bacterial response to dissolved organic matter affects resource availability for algae. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 62(2), 472-481.

DOI

10.1139/f04-229

Peer Reviewed