Aquatic Ecology

, Volume 35, Issue 1, pp 11–17 | Cite as

Effects of the mixotrophic flagellate Ochromonas sp. on colony formation in Microcystis aeruginosa

  • U. Burkert
  • P. Hyenstrand
  • S. Drakare
  • P. Blomqvist


The aim of this study was to investigate the interactions between the cyanobacteria (Microcystis aeruginosa) and the potential grazer (Ochromonas sp.) with regard to colony formation. Two kinds of treatments were carried out: (i) In the dialyse experiment Microcystis aeruginosa and Ochromonas sp. were physically separated by a dialyse tubing. (ii) In the contact experiment interactions between Microcystis aeruginosa, heterotrophic bacteria and Ochromonas sp. in different concentrations were investigated. In one treatment where the predator Ochromonas sp. came in direct contact with Microcystis, aggregates were formed.

In the contact experiment, there were some interactions between the predator Ochromonas sp. and the two groups of prey, Microcystis aeruginosa and heterotrophic bacteria. When exposed to a low initial Ochromonas sp. concentration, Microcystis aeruginosa decreased and then remained stable in concentration. Ochromonas sp. switched to feed on heterotrophic bacteria and increased. At a high initial Ochromonas sp. concentration Microcystis was grazed down.

aggregates allelochemicals Microcystis Ochromonas predator-prey interactions 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • U. Burkert
    • 1
  • P. Hyenstrand
    • 1
    • 2
  • S. Drakare
    • 1
  • P. Blomqvist
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of LimnologyUppsala UniversitySweden
  2. 2.Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of DundeeScotland

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