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Water, Air and Soil Pollution: Focus

, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp 7–26 | Cite as

Macroalgal growth in nutrient-enriched estuaries: A biogeochemical and evolutionary perspective

  • John A. Raven
  • Rebecca Taylor
Article

Abstract

Increased nutrient loading of a body of water leads to an increase in macroalgal growth. It is generally observed, however, that certain species thrive more than others, capitalising on the increased nutrient availability. These are usually small, fast-growing, ephemeral algae that often appear as nuisance blooms. This article discusses the correlation between nutrient increase and macroalgal bloom formation. From a historical perspective, the evolutionary history of nuisance macroalgae, and the habits available to them prior to anthropogenic influences on estuarine geochemistry are considered. The occurrence of macroalgal genera whose distribution is commonly related to estuaries with high nutrient loading is discussed, along with evidence suggesting that the ecophysiological traits of r-selected, ephemeral algae largely contribute to their ecological success and bloom-formation at nutrient-enriched sites.

ecophysiology estuaries growth life strategy macroalgal blooms morphology -nutrients uptake rate 

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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Environmental and Applied Biology, School of Life SciencesUniversity of DundeeDundeeU.K. (Author for correspondence

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