Marine Biology

, Volume 50, Issue 4, pp 305–312 | Cite as

Growth and competition of the marine diatoms Phaeodactylum tricornutum and Thalassiosira pseudonana. I. Nutrient effects

  • C. F. D'Elia
  • R. R. L. Guillard
  • D. M. Nelson


Two marine diatoms, Phaeodactylum tricornutum (Bohlin) and Thalassiosira pseudonana (Hasle and Heimdal), were grown both separately and together in batch cultures on a mixture of waste water and seawater enriched with different components of f medium. At 17°C, the maximum division rates of the two species were statistically indistinguishable. The waste water-seawater mixture used proved to have insufficient Si, relative to N and P, for the growth of T. pseudonana, which requires approximately 5x10-14 g-at Si cell-1 to divide at a maximum rate. P. tricornutum, on the other hand, although capable of taking up nearly 9x10-15 g-at Si cell-1, could sustain maximum rates of division with 4.3x10-18 g-at Si cell-1 or less. No allelopathic interaction between the two species could be detected. We conclude that P. tricornutum enjoys a considerable competitive advantage over T. pseudonana in a waste water-seawater-based mariculture system that is not supplemented with Si. Although Si proved necessary for T. pseudonana to complete more successfully with the other diatom, the presence of excess amounts of Si is not necessarily sufficient for the maintenance of T. pseudonana in mixed continuous culture with P. tricornutum: other factors, such as light-related or photoperiod-related growth response, are believed to determine the ultimate outcome of competition between these algae in light-limited continuous culture.


Waste Water Competitive Advantage Maximum Rate Batch Culture Growth Response 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. F. D'Elia
    • 1
    • 2
  • R. R. L. Guillard
    • 1
  • D. M. Nelson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyWoods Hole Oceanographic InstitutionWoods HoleUSA
  2. 2.Center for Enviromental and Estiarine Studies Chesapeake Biological LaboratoryUniversity of MarylandSolomonsUSA

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