Journal of Applied Phycology

, Volume 14, Issue 5, pp 365–374 | Cite as

Biofiltering efficiency in removal of dissolved nutrients by three species of estuarine macroalgae cultivated with sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) waste waters 1. Phosphate

  • J.F. Martínez-Aragón
  • I. Hernández
  • J.L. Pérez-Lloréns
  • R. Vázquez
  • J.J. Vergara


The potential of three estuarine macroalgae (Ulvarotundata, Enteromorpa intestinalis andGracilaria gracilis) as biofilters for phosphate ineffluents of a sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) cultivationtank was studied. These seaweeds thrive in Cádiz Bay and were alsoselected because of their economic potential, so that environmental andeconomicadvantages may be achieved by future integrated aquaculture practices in thelocal fish farms. The study was designed to investigate the functioning of Pnutrition of the selected species. Maximum velocity of phosphate uptake (2.86μmol PO4 g−1 dry wth−1) was found in U. rotundata.This species also showed the highest affinity for this nutrient. At low flowrates (< 2 volumes d−1), the three species efficientlyfiltered the phosphate dissolved in the waste water, with a minimum efficiencyof 60.7% in U. rotundata. Net phosphate uptake rate wassignificantly affected by the water flow, being greatest at the highest rateassayed (2 volumes d−1). The marked decrease in tissue P shownby the three species during a flow-through experiment suggested that growth wasP limited. However, due to the increase in biomass, total P biomass increasedinthe cultures. A significant correlation was found between growth rates and thenet P biomass gained in the cultures. A three-stage design under low water flow(0.5 volumes d−1) showed that the highest growth rates (up to0.14 d−1) and integrated phosphate uptake rates(up to 5.8 μmol PO43− g−1dry wt d−1) were found in E.intestinalis in the first stage, with decreasing rates in thefollowing ones. As a result, phosphate become limiting and low increments oreven losses of total P biomass in these stages were found suggesting thatphosphate was excreted from the algae. The results show the potential abilityofthe three species to reduce substantially, at low water flow, the phosphateconcentration in waste waters from a D. labrax cultivationtank, and thus the quality of effluents from intensive aquaculture practices.

Enteromorpha Gracilaria Integrated aquaculture Phosphorus Ulva 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • J.F. Martínez-Aragón
    • 1
  • I. Hernández
    • 1
  • J.L. Pérez-Lloréns
    • 1
  • R. Vázquez
    • 2
  • J.J. Vergara
    • 1
  1. 1.Area de Ecología, Facultad de Ciencias del Mar y AmbientalesUniversidad de CádizPuerto RealSpain
  2. 2.Laboratorio de Cultivos MarinosUniversidad de CádizPuerto RealSpain

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