, Volume 68, Issue 4, pp 503-506

Phytoplankton competition along a gradient of dilution rates

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Natural phytoplankton from Lake Constance was used for chemostat competition experiments performed at a variety of dilution rates. In the first series at high Si:P ratios and under uniform phosphorus limitation for all species, Synedra acus outcompeted all other species at all dilution rates up to 1.6 d-1, only at the highest dilution rate (2.0 d-1) Achnanthes minutissima was successful. In the second series in the absence of any Si a green algal replacement series was found, with Mougeotia thylespora dominant at the lowest dilution rates, Scenedesmus acutus at the intermediate ones, and Chlorella minutissima at the highest ones. The outcome of interspecific competition was not in contradiction with the Monod kinetics of P-limited growth of the five species, but no satisfactorily precise prediction of competitive performance can be derived from the Monod kinetics because of insufficient precision in the estimate of k s .