Journal of Applied Phycology

, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp 229–237 | Cite as

Nutrient interactions between phytoplankton and bacterioplankton under different carbon dioxide regimes

  • Shannon L. Meseck
  • Barry C. Smith
  • Gary H. Wikfors
  • Jennifer H. Alix
  • Diane Kapareiko


Light, nutrients, temperature, pH, and salinity are important factors in controlling the growth of phytoplankton and bacterioplankton. Supply of key nutrients to these communities can result in mutualistic or competitive relationships between bacterioplankton and phytoplankton. In this study, we investigated growth and uptake of nutrients by the marine prasinophyte flagellate Tetraselmis chui (strain PLY429) in the presence and absence of a community of bacterioplankton at two pH levels. Growth of PLY429 and total nutrient uptake were calculated for each treatment. The addition of bacterioplankton resulted in lower growth rates of PLY429, but the removal of ammonium was greater in those cultures with bacterioplankton present. The division rate of PLY429 was affected by pH; however, pH changes did not result in different uptake rates of nitrate, ammonium, or phosphate by the mixed algal and bacterial assemblage. These findings suggest that bacterioplankton and phytoplankton were competing for ammonium and that a lower pH resulted in more rapid algal growth.

Key words

Tetraselmis chui nitrate uptake phosphate uptake pH Effects 



We would like to thank Mark Dixon for his help in maintaining cultures of Tetraselmis chui and bacterioplankton for this experiment.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shannon L. Meseck
    • 1
  • Barry C. Smith
    • 1
  • Gary H. Wikfors
    • 1
  • Jennifer H. Alix
    • 1
  • Diane Kapareiko
    • 1
  1. 1.NOAA/NMFSMilfordUSA

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