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Sci Total Environ. 2007 Oct 1;384(1-3):293-305. Epub 2007 Jun 12.

In situ growth potential of the subtidal part of green tide forming Ulva spp. stocks.

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Institut Français de Recherche pour l'Exploitation de la Mer, Direction de l'Environnement Littoral, BP 70, 29280 Plouzané, France.


Ulva spp., the algae most responsible for green tides in Brittany (France), are found on the foreshore and in the most beachward wave area (MBWA) of many bays during green tide phenomena. These algae have recently been seen drifting at greater depths (reaching - 20 m). In view of the significant quantities of algae found at these depths, and the less favorable conditions for algal growth than in the intertidal zone, we attempted to determine if they could grow there. For that, during their maximum growth period (from May to July), algae were picked up at three stations located on the foreshore, in the MBWA and in the subtidal (deep) zones of the Bay of Douarnenez, and their nitrogen, carbon and chlorophyll a + b contents were determined, and their photosynthetic activity was compared in the laboratory. The intracellular concentrations did not differ much from one station to another, although in the subtidal zone, the irradiance and the nitrogen concentration in the ambient water were much lower than those measured on the foreshore and in the MBWA. Photosynthetic activity characterized by maximum amounts of oxygen produced at different irradiances and by saturating and compensating irradiance levels, was also quite similar at the three stations. The irradiance, temperature and salinity of the subtidal environment, together with the chemical and photosynthetic characteristics of the algae found in that area, are consistent with the hypothesis that they grow there, and that their nitrogen supply comes from nitrogen releases from sediments. Nevertheless, their growth rate is probably less than that of algae in the MBWA.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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