Journal of Applied Phycology

, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 437–445 | Cite as

Influence of environmental factors on the growth in culture of a New Zealand strain of the fast-spreading algaHydrodictyon reticulatum (water-net)

  • Ian Hawes
  • Robert Smith


Hydrodictyon reticulatum (L.) Lagerh. is a recent addition to the New Zealand flora and is expanding its distribution rapidly. Proliferations of the alga now constitute an economic nuisance in waters which have not previously suffered filamentous algal blooms. To better understand the current and likely future spread of the alga and to identify possible management options the alga's growth requirements have been investigated. A strain isolated from New Zealand tolerated temperatures between 5 and 40 °C and salinities from 0 to 5‰. Optimal growth was at 25 °C, ⩾ 150 μmol photon m−2s−1 and in freshwater. Nett photosynthesis was saturated at photon flux densities of 100 and 160 μmol m−2s−1 at 12 and 20 °C, respectively. Growth rate was linearly related to internal N concentration and hyperbolically to internal P concentration. Minimum cellular nutrient contents, by weight, were 1% N and 0.2% P. Growth was saturated at contents of 5% N and 0.5% P under the conditions of culture (20 °C, 150 μmol photon m−2s−1). The alga maintained optimal cellular N content at low ambient nitrate concentrations (100 mg m−3) half optimum content at 18 mg m−3. Affinity for filtrable reactive phosphorus was not unusually high compared to other filamentous algae. We suggest that this alga is occupying a niche in New Zealand which has been precluded from other filamentous nuisance algae by low N concentration and N:P ratio. The significance of these findings in setting environmental targets for management of this nuisance alga is discussed.

Key words

growth prediction expanding distribution Hydrodictyon reticulatum nutrients salinity temperature 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ian Hawes
    • 1
  • Robert Smith
    • 1
  1. 1.National Institute of Water and AtmosphereChristchurchNew Zealand

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