Marine Biology

, Volume 70, Issue 2, pp 197–204 | Cite as

Calcification in the maerl coralline alga Phymatolithon calcareum: Effects of salinity and temperature

  • R. J. King
  • W. Schramm


The coralline alga Phymatolithon calcareum was dredged from 13 m in the Kattegatt, Baltic Sea, in December, 1980, and its rate of calcification was measured by 45Ca++-uptake methods. Light-saturated calcification rates at 5°C ranged from 15.8 μg CaCO3 g-1 dry wt h-1 for the basal parts of the plants to 38.7 μg CaCO3 g-1 dry wt h-1 for the tips. These “age” gradients were not apparent when calcification rates were expressed on the basis of surface area. Experiments with salinity (10, 20, 30‰) and temperature (0°, 5°, 10°, 20°C) indicated that optimum conditions for calcification were at 30‰ S and at temperatures above 10°C. Salinity had a greater influence on calcification rate than did temperature, and there was a positive relationship between salinity and calcification rate at all temperatures. In 6 mo old cultures, salinity was again the important factor, with all plants remaining healthy at 30‰ except those at the highest temperature (20°C). These trends, and the low calcification rates at 10‰S (4.6 μg CaCO3 g-1 dry wt h-1 at 5°C to 8.6 μg CaCO3g-1 dry wt h-1 at 20°C) suggest that low salinity may be the explanation for the general absence of P. calcareum from the brackish waters of the Baltic Sea. Short-term experiments in which salinity was kept constant while Ca++ concentration was altered, and experiments in which salinity was varied and Ca++ concentration kept constant, suggest that it is the calcium ion concentration and not salinity per se which affects calcification rates.


Calcium Optimum Condition Positive Relationship CaCO3 Great Influence 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Literature Cited

  1. Adey, W. H.: The effects of light and temperature on growth rates in boreal-subarctic crustose corallines. J. Phycol. 6, 269–276 (1970)Google Scholar
  2. Adey, W. H. and D. L. McKibbin: Studies on the maerl species Phymatolithon calcareum (Pallas) nov. comb. and Lithothamnion coralloides Crouan in the Ria de Vigo. Botanica mar. 13, 100–106 (1970)Google Scholar
  3. Adey, W. H. and J. M. Vassar: Colonization, succession and growth rates of tropical crustose coralline algae (Rhodophyta, Cryptonemiales). Phycologia 14, 55–69 (1975)Google Scholar
  4. Alexandersson, T.: Carbonate cementation in coralline algal nodules in the Skagerrak, North Sea: biochemical precipitation in undersaturated waters. J. sedim. Petrol. 44, 7–26 (1974)Google Scholar
  5. Blunden, G., W. F. Farnham, N. Jepson, R. H. Fenn and B. A. Plunkett: The composition of maërl from the Glenan Islands of Southern Brittany. Botanica mar. 20, 121–125 (1977)Google Scholar
  6. Böhm, L.: Application of the 45Ca tracer method for determination of calcification rates in calcareous algae: effect of calcium exchange and differential saturation of algal calcium pools. Mar. Biol. 47, 9–14 (1978)Google Scholar
  7. Böhm, L., W. Schramm and U. Rabsch: Ecological and physiological aspects of some coralline algae from the Western Baltic. Calcium uptake and skeleton formation in Phymatolithon calcareum. Kieler Meeresforsch 4, 282–288 (1978)Google Scholar
  8. Borowitzka, M. A.: Algal calcification. Oceanogr. mar. Biol. A. Rev. 15, 189–223 (1977)Google Scholar
  9. Borowitzka, M. A.: Calcium exchange and the measurement of calcification rates in the calcareous coralline red alga Amphiroa foliacea. Mar. Biol. 50, 339–347 (1979)Google Scholar
  10. Borowitzka, M. A.: Photosynthesis and calcification in the articulated coralline red algae Amphiroa anceps and A. foliacea. Mar. Biol. 62, 17–23 (1981)Google Scholar
  11. Borowitzka, M. A. and A. W. D. Larkum: Calcification in the green alga Halimeda II. The exchange of Ca2+ and the occurrence of age gradients in calcification and photosynthesis. J. exp. Bot. 27, 864–878 (1976)Google Scholar
  12. Goreau, T. F.: Calcium carbonate deposition by coralline algae and corals in relation to their roles as reef builders. Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 109, 127–167 (1963)Google Scholar
  13. Grasshoff, K. (Ed.). Methods of seawater analysis, Weinheim, FRG: Verlag Chemie 1976Google Scholar
  14. King, R. J. and W. Schramm: Determination of photosynthetic rates for the marine algae Fucus vesiculosus and Laminaria digitata. Mar. Biol. 37, 209–213 (1976a)Google Scholar
  15. King, R. J. and W. Schramm: Photosynthetic rates of benthic marine algae in relation to light intensity and seasonal variations. Mar. Biol. 37, 215–222 (1976b)Google Scholar
  16. Lehnberg, W. und H. Theede: Kombinierte Wirkungen von Temperatur, Salzgehalt und Cadmium auf Entwicklung, Wachstum und Mortalität der Larven von Mytilus edulis aus der westlichen Ostsee. Helgoländer wiss. Meeresunters. 32, 179–199 (1979)Google Scholar
  17. Littler, M. M.: The productivity of Hawaiian fringing-reef crustose Corallinaceae and an experimental evaluation of production methodology. Limnol. Oceanogr. 18, 946–952 (1973)Google Scholar
  18. Merck, E.: Die Untersuchungen von Wasser, 9. Aufl. 224 pp. Darmstadt, FRG: 1976Google Scholar
  19. Pentecost, A.: Calcification and photosynthesis in Corallina officinalis L. using the 14CO2 method. Br. phycol. J. 13, 383–390 (1978)Google Scholar
  20. Šesták, Z., J. Čatsky and P. G. Jarvis: Plant photosynthetic production: manual of methods, 818 pp. Hague: Junk 1971Google Scholar
  21. Smith, A. D. and A. A. Roth: Effect of carbon dioxide concentration on calcification in the red coralline alga Bossiella orbigniana. Mar. Biol. 52, 217–225 (1979)Google Scholar
  22. Stein, J. R.: Handbook of phycological methods: culture methods and growth measurements, 448 pp. London: Cambridge University Press 1973Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. J. King
    • 1
  • W. Schramm
    • 2
  1. 1.School of BotanyThe University of New South WalesKensingtonAustralia
  2. 2.Institut für Meereskunde an der Universität KielKiel 1Germany

Personalised recommendations