Phytoplankton evolution during the creation of a biofloc system for shrimp culture

  • F. LlarioEmail author
  • M. Rodilla
  • J. Escrivá
  • S. Falco
  • M.-T. Sebastiá-Frasquet
Original Paper


Microalgae play a key role in the dynamics of biofloc technology aquaculture systems. Some phytoplankton groups, such as diatoms, are desired for their high nutritional value and contribution to water quality. Other groups, such as cyanobacteria, are undesired because of their low nutritional value and capacity of producing toxins. So, monitoring the phytoplankton community structure and succession is key for managing biofloc systems. However, research on phytoplankton in these systems is scarce and mostly done by microscopy. The primary objective of this research was to estimate phytoplankton community structure in shrimp biofloc system water samples, using high-performance liquid chromatography methods and CHEMTAX software. The major groups present in our system were diatoms, euglenophytes, cyanobacteria and chlorophytes, while dinoflagellates were only remarkable at the initial period. We observed a clear dominance of diatoms all along the 5 months that comprised a complete biofloc system culture. The characteristic succession of autotrophic processes by heterotrophs of the biofloc systems was observed by the reduction of net primary production. Light intensity played a key role in determining the phytoplankton composition and abundance. Algal pigment analyses using high-performance liquid chromatography and subsequent CHEMTAX analysis in water samples were useful for estimating the phytoplankton community structure in the biofloc systems. However, we found some limitations when the biofloc system was in heterotrophic mode. Under these conditions, some dinoflagellates and cyanobacteria behaved as heterotrophs and lost or decreased their biomarker pigments. So, further research is needed to increase knowledge on the accuracy of high-performance liquid chromatography/CHEMTAX under these conditions.


CHEMTAX High-performance liquid chromatography Litopenaeus vannamei Pigments 



Financial support for this research was provided by Conselleria d’Educació, Investigació, Cultura i Esport of the Generalitat Valenciana, through the program VALi+D, file number ACIF/2014/244. We would like to express our deepest thanks to Professor Luis Henrique da Silva Poersch of FURG (Universidade Federal do Rio Grande) and Ivan Vidal (Langostinos el Real) for his support. Finally, the authors wish to thank Le Gouessant and Michaël Metz for providing the commercial feed.


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© Islamic Azad University (IAU) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut d’Investigació per a la Investigació de Zones Costaneres (IGIC)Universitat Politècnica de ValènciaGrau de GandiaSpain

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