Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 36, pp 36403–36411 | Cite as

Allelopathic effects of Chara species (C. aspera, C. baltica, and C. canescens) on the bloom-forming picocyanobacterium Synechococcus sp.

  • Ilona Złoch
  • Sylwia Śliwińska-WilczewskaEmail author
  • Marta Kucharska
  • Wiktoria Kozłowska
Research Article


The role of macroalgal allelopathy in aquatic systems has received increasing attention as a potential means of controlling cyanobacterial blooms. However, the allelopathic activity of Chara sp. on coexisting and bloom-forming picocyanobacteria is still largely unknown. Therefore, the laboratory experiments were conducted to investigate the allelopathic activity of extracts of Chara aspera, C. baltica, and C. canescens on the growth, the fluorescence parameters: maximum and effective quantum yield of photosystem II (PSII) photochemistry (Fv/Fm and ΦPSII, respectively) and photosynthesis parameters such as the initial slope of photosynthesis-irradiance (P-E) curves (alpha) and photosynthetic capacity (Pm) of the picocyanobacterium Synechococcus sp. Batch cultures of picocyanobacterium were exposed to three concentrations of extracts originating from three charophyte cultures and the effect was followed at three sampling times. Dried specimens of C. aspera, C. baltica, and C. canescens were extracted in the water-based matrix and the initial Synechococcus sp. inoculum, derived from unialgal culture media, was used. We found both negative and positive allelopathic effects of all tested Chara extracts on Synechococcus sp. The strongest adverse impact of picocyanobacterium growth was caused by C. baltica. This study clearly demonstrated that the allelopathic effect depends on the Chara species identity. Our results also suggested that some allelopathic Chara sp. have the potential to mitigate harmful cyanobacterial blooms in systems dominated by Synechococcus sp.


Charophytes Macroalgae Microalgae Photosynthesis Chlorophyll fluorescence Growth 



The authors would like to thank the anonymous Reviewers and Editor for their valuable comments and suggestions to improve the quality of the paper. This study was supported by BMN grants, Poland, no. 538-G245-B116-18.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Marine Biology and Ecology, Institute of OceanographyUniversity of GdańskGdyniaPoland
  2. 2.Division of Marine Ecosystems Functioning, Institute of OceanographyUniversity of GdańskGdyniaPoland

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