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[APD] RE: allelopathy - Competing for NH4

"I think algae are preprogramed to live in specific environments, plants as
well but if they have enough nutrients relative to the lighting, they will
do well if you have enough plants to start off with.
I also believe that algae/plants compete fiercly for NH4 produced in the
water column.
It's a much greater gain for algae to get the NH4 as opposed to NO3.
Plants also but not nearly as much.
When the plants have good conditions, they likely remove all the NH4 as
fast as it's produced.
When the plants wane due to nutrient deficicencies, this uptake rate slows
down and the algae have a free meal."


This makes more sense to me than other possible causes I've heard or
considered in the past, including O2 which I believe was the more popular
suspect last time this topic came up. Ammonia, being consumed by bacteria,
plants and algae is really the only nutrient that we do not maintain a
measurable level of, therefore probably the only element where being the
stronger competitor would give you the advantage.

So this would suggest that plants are the top competitor for NH4, followed
by algae and last of all bacteria. In Diana's book she shows comparisons of
NH4 preference and uptake Vs NO3 in a particular aquatic plant. Do similar
test results exist for algae uptake or preference? Just how hard is it for
algae to convert NO3?

Giancarlo Podio

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