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Re: nutrient/algae correlations

On Thu, 23 Aug 2001, Shireen Gonzaga wrote:
> Have any studies been done linking particular nutrients to
> specific types of algae? I've heard that hair (or is it thread?)
> algae is caused by excessive iron. What about other algaes
> like spot, brush, etc.?

A while back Mark Fisher wrote a short synopsis of some work published by
some of his coworkers.  They correlated the succession of algae during
algae blooms to changes in the water quality during the bloom.  Mark's
article is in the archives.  As I recall, they found that diatoms were
associated with an excess of nitrogen over phosphorus, that cyanophytes
were associated with an excess of phosphorus over nitrogen and that green
algae dominated between the extremes.

There are several cautions about the data.  First, The algae in question
are all phytoplankton in estuarine environments.  Second, the cyanophytes
involved where probably nitrogen-fixing varieties (hence their ability to
survive under nitrogen depleted conditions) and the common nuisance
cyanophytes in our tanks are not nitrogen-fixing varieties.

Given those problems, I still wonder if there might be a valid correlation
between diatoms and high N:P ratios in aquaria.

Roger Miller