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Effect of selected surfactants on the growth characteristics of Gymnodinium breve


Growth studies of Gymnodinium breve in nutrient enriched and unenriched medium showed that anionic surfactants have the most deleterious effects on initial response, growth rate, and maximum cell numbers as compared with cationic and non-ionics. Degradation rates were determined, and the surfactant with the most favorable rate (C12 alkyl-benzene sulfonate) was further tested. The growth constant, K e , and maximum cell number, N max , decreased with increasing amount of surfactant added to G. breve cultures (enriched sea-water media); a minimum was observed at 12.5 ppb. Above this concentration the values of K e and N max increased to approach control values. This profile was ascribed to the formation of surfactant micelles that are ineffective. The surfactant produced mortality of G. breve (90% mortality versus 12% in untreated samples) in natural red-tide samples, but other algae and zooplankton were undisturbed.

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Communicated by O. Kinne, Hamburg

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Kutt, E.C., Martin, D.F. Effect of selected surfactants on the growth characteristics of Gymnodinium breve . Marine Biology 28, 253–259 (1974).

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  • Growth Rate
  • Surfactant
  • Sulfonate
  • Deleterious Effect
  • Degradation Rate