Hydrobiological Bulletin

, Volume 25, Issue 1, pp 23–27 | Cite as

Nutrient-induced competition between two species of marine diatoms

  • Niels de Pauw
  • Eddy Naessens-Foucquaert


Competition experiments betweenPhaeodactylum tricornutum andSkeletonema costatum showed that even at temperatures higher than 10°C (i.c. 14°C), the development ofSkeletonema can be favoured by adjusting nutrient levels and nutrient ratios. Low N∶Si ratios were found to favourSkeletonema. Additionally, high N∶P ratios further enhanced the ability ofSkeletonema to dominate the cuftures. Contrary to some statements in literature, it seems that high concentrations of silicates are more important for the dominance ofSkeletonema costatum in large-scale cultures than just low temperatures. This finding is important with regard to stimulating the blooming ofSkeletonema costatum in natural phytoplankton populations as food for bivalve molluscs.


Marine phytoplankton Phaeodactylum tricornutum Skeletonema costatum nutrients species competition bivalve mollusc culture 


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Copyright information

© Netherlands Hydrobiological Society 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Niels de Pauw
    • 1
  • Eddy Naessens-Foucquaert
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratory for Biological Research in Aquatic PollutionUniversity of GhentGentBelgium
  2. 2.Artemia Systems N.V.GentBelgium

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