Several species of phytoplankton were grown in unialgal, but not bacteria-free, cultures. These clones when exposed to varying salinities, from 5 to 35‰, showed a marked increase in their rates of photosynthesis at low salinities. The optimum requirement of salinity, however, varied in different species. Observations on the relative abundance of phytoplankton in an estuary, where the salinity changes were fairly large, confirmed that, within limits, waters with low salinities support a greater abundance of phytoplankton in nature. The wide adaptability of phytoplankton to changes in salinity corresponds to the conditions brought about by the monsoon system along the southwest coast of India, where large dilutions are associated with the enrichment of water with nutrients.
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Communicated by N. K. Panikkar, Panaji
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Qasim, S.Z., Bhattathiri, P.M.A. & Devassy, V.P. The influence of salinity on the rate of photosynthesis and abundance of some tropical phytoplankton. Marine Biology 12, 200–206 (1972). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00346767