, Volume 846, Issue 1, pp 109–122 | Cite as

Nutritional strategy for the preferential uptake of \({{\text{NO}}_{3}}^{ - } {\text{{-}N}}\) by Phaeocystis globosa

  • Xuning Lv
  • Zaixing Wu
  • Xiuxian Song
  • Yongquan Yuan
  • Xihua Cao
  • Zhiming YuEmail author
Primary Research Paper


The cosmopolitan alga Phaeocystis globosa forms massive colonies during blooms. In addition to producing haemolytic toxins that affect the ecosystem, centimetre-sized colonies can block nuclear power plant cooling systems. Nitrogen plays a key role in P. globosa blooms; however, the preferred form of inorganic nitrogen taken up by colonies remains unknown. Therefore, we set up four groups with different nitrogen types and levels of enrichment. The culture medium and intracolonial fluid were sampled at different times for the determination of nutrient concentrations to elucidate the nutrient uptake strategy that presumably favours colonies. Although \({{\text{NH}}_{4}}^{ + } {\text{ {-} N}}\) and \({{\text{NO}}_{2}}^{ - } {\text{{-}N}}\) were absorbed by the colonies, \({{\text{NO}}_{3}}^{ - } {\text{{-}N}}\) was the favoured nitrogen, and the average uptake rate of \({{\text{NO}}_{3}}^{ - } {\text{{-}N}}\) was significantly higher than that of \({{\text{NH}}_{4}}^{ + } {\text{{-}N}}\) and \({{\text{NO}}_{2}}^{ - } {\text{{-}N}}\) in each group (P < 0.05). In the enriched groups, the replenishment of \({{\text{NO}}_{3}}^{ - } {\text{{-}N}}\) in the intracolonial fluid was faster than that of \({{\text{NH}}_{4}}^{ + } {\text{{-}N}}\). The symbiotic bacteria and some biochemical processes may explain the differences in the nutrient concentrations inside and outside of the colonies. Considering the high consumption of \({{\text{NO}}_{3}}^{ - } {\text{{-}N}}\) during P. globosa blooms, controlling the concentration of \({{\text{NO}}_{3}}^{ - } {\text{{-}N}}\) is key to preventing P. globosa blooms.


Nitrogen utilization Nitrate Harmful algal blooms Colonies The Beibu Gulf 



We thank the Guangxi Academy of Sciences and Guangxi Fangchenggang Nuclear Power Co., Ltd., for instrument employed. The authors sincerely thank Dr. Wentao Wang and Liyan He from Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao for their valuable and constructive suggestions, which helped us to considerably improve the manuscript. This work was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2017YFC1404300), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41706133), the Aoshan Talents Cultivation Program supported by Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology (2017ASTCP-OS16), the NSFC-Shandong Joint Fund for Marine Science Research Centers (U1606404), and the Taishan Scholars Climbing Program of Shandong Province of the year 2019.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xuning Lv
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Zaixing Wu
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
  • Xiuxian Song
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Yongquan Yuan
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
  • Xihua Cao
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
  • Zhiming Yu
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.CAS Key Laboratory of Marine Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Institute of OceanologyChinese Academy of SciencesQingdaoChina
  2. 2.Laboratory of Marine Ecology and Environmental ScienceQingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and TechnologyQingdaoChina
  3. 3.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  4. 4.Center for Ocean Mega-ScienceChinese Academy of SciencesQingdaoChina

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