, Volume 331, Issue 1–3, pp 131–141 | Cite as

Diurnal buoyancy changes of Microcystis in an artificially mixed storage reservoir

  • Petra M. Visser
  • Henk A. M. Ketelaarsl
  • Lambert W. C. A. van Breemen
  • Luuc R. Mur


In a storage reservoir, which is artificially mixed in order to reduce algal and especially cyanobacterial growth, the cyanobacterium Microcystis is still present. The aim of the research was to investigate why Microcystis was able to grow in the artificially mixed reservoir. From the results it could be concluded that the large shallow area in the reservoir allows this growth. The loss of buoyancy during the day was much higher in this shallow part than in the deep part. Assuming that the loss of buoyancy was the result of a higher carbohydrate content, a higher growth rate in the shallow part may be expected. A higher received light dose by the phytoplankton in the shallow mixed part of the reservoir than in the deep mixed part explains the difference in buoyancy loss. A significant correlation between the received light dose (calculated for homogeneously mixed phytoplankton) and the buoyancy loss was found. Apparently, the Microcystis colonies were entrained in the turbulent flow in both the shallow and the deep part of the reservoir. With a little higher stability on one sampling day, due to the late start of the artificial mixing, the loss of buoyancy at the deep site was higher than on the other days and almost comparable to the loss at the shallow site. Although the vertical biomass distribution and the temperature profiles showed homogeneous mixing, the colonies in the upper layers apparently received a higher light dose than those deeper in the water column. Determination of the buoyancy state of cyanobacteria appeared to be a valuable method to investigate the light history and hence their entrainment in the turbulent flow in the water column.

Key words

buoyancy artificial mixing aeration Microcystis cyanobacteria 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Petra M. Visser
    • 1
  • Henk A. M. Ketelaarsl
    • 2
  • Lambert W. C. A. van Breemen
    • 2
  • Luuc R. Mur
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory for MicrobiologyUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Water Storage Corporation Brabantse BiesboschWerkendamThe Netherlands

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