Effects of temperature and irradiance on photosynthesis and growth of a green-tide-forming species (Ulva linza) in the Yellow Sea
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Samples of the massive drifting green alga, Ulva linza, were collected from the coastal waters of the Yellow Sea, southwest of Korea, in early July 2009, and cultured under laboratory conditions. The effects of various temperature (10–30°C) and irradiance levels (0–1,000 μmol photons m−2 s−1) on photosynthesis, growth, and tissue nutrient content of U. linza were investigated in laboratory for both individuals of the late-stage vegetation (LSV) and the early-stage vegetation (ESV). After 1 h acclimation to various irradiance and temperature conditions, maximum gross photosynthetic rate of ESV was significantly higher than those of LSV. In the long-term (7-d) acclimation experiments to various irradiance and temperature levels, gross photosynthetic rates of ESV individuals were also significantly higher than those of LSV individuals. High photosynthetic rate of ESV individuals induced increase in mass of about 60% over the growth saturation irradiance (136 μmol photons m−2 s−1) and about 20% under low temperature conditions (10–15°C) during 7-d. The gross photosynthesis of LSV individuals was low when examined under temperature and irradiance conditions that were optimum for ESV growth. Consequently, free-floating U. linza exhibits cellular senescence beginning in early July in the Yellow Sea, and green tides formed by this species cannot be maintained beyond this time in the open sea. However, we expect that U. linza can proliferate quickly after settlement on new coastal habitats of the Yellow Sea because of the high tissue nitrogen utilization for photosynthesis in ESV, which is formed by germination of reproductive cells.
KeywordsEarly-stage vegetation Green tide Late-stage vegetation Photosynthesis Ulva linza Yellow Sea
The authors thank the captains and sailors of the Mugunghwa II guidance ship for their assistance in the sample collection. We also thank Keunyong Kim for field survey and for technical support. This work was supported by the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs and National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korean government (MEST) (no. 2007-0055898).
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