, Volume 63, Issue 2, pp 135-143

First online:

Growth interactions among blue-green (Anabaena Oscillarioides, Microcystis aeruginosa) and green (Chlorella sp.) algae

  • Catherine W. Y. LamAffiliated withBotany Department, University of Auckland
  • , Warwick B. SilvesterAffiliated withBotany Department, University of Auckland

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The growth interactions amongst the blue-green algal species Anabaena oscillarioides, Microcystis aeruginosa and the green alga, Chlorella sp. were studied both in mixed cultures and in filter cultures separated by a membrane filter in the two arms of an interaction U-tube. The role of nutrients especially phosphate upon the interaction has also been studied.

Anabaena and Microcystis both inhibited the growth of Chlorella while Microcystis also inhibited the growth of Anabaena. The inhibitory effect of Microcystis was found to be dependent on high concentrations of the initial algal inocula and independent of the initial concentration of nutrients such as inorganic phosphate, indicating that the nature of the inhibition is probably due to the production of inhibitory extracellular products by Microcystis. On the other hand, the inhibitory effect of Anabaena on Chlorella is the consequence of nutrient competition with Anabaena competing more effectively for the available phosphate.


algal interaction Anabaena oscillarioides Chlorella extracellular products Microcystis aeruginosa nutrient competition