Journal of Applied Phycology

, Volume 26, Issue 6, pp 2417–2424 | Cite as

The effects of severe carbon limitation on the green seaweed, Ulva conglobata (Chlorophyta)

  • Dinghui Zou


Low inorganic carbon (Ci) concentrations in seawater are usually an important factor controlling photosynthesis and growth of seaweeds. The green seaweed, Ulva conglobata Kjellm, collected from a rock pool in a middle intertidal zone located at Nanao Island, Shantou, China, were cultured under low Ci level for several days, to examine the effect of severe carbon limitation on photosynthesis. The rather high pH compensation points obtained from the pH-drift experiments indicated that U. conglobata was capable of acquiring HCO3 from surrounding seawater as its Ci source for photosynthesis. However, thalli of U. conglobata cultured in Ci-starved seawater exhibited a decline of biomass, showing that the realistic photosynthetic carbon gain could not compensate for the respiratory carbon consumption in the thalli under severe Ci limitation during laboratory culture. Compared with ambient Ci conditions, the culture under severe Ci limitation significantly had an increased pigment content, but a lower maximum quantum yield and photosynthetic electron transport rate. Additionally, the maximum carbon-saturating photosynthesis rate and the apparent photosynthetic conductance of U. conglobata thalli increased in cultures with severe Ci limitation compared with ambient Ci in low N-grown thalli. The results suggest that under severe Ci limitation, U. conglobata thalli increased capacities of both light absorption processes and carbon fixation pathways.


Carbon limitation Ulva conglobata Photosynthesis Seaweeds Nitrogen 



This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41276148 and 41076094).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Environment and EnergySouth China University of TechnologyGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.The Key Lab of Pollution Control and Ecosystem Restoration in Industry ClustersMinistry of EducationGuangzhouChina

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