AME 44:231-239 (2006)  -  doi:10.3354/ame044231

Effect of iron complexation with dissolved organic matter on the growth of cyanobacteria in a eutrophic lake

Takashi Nagai1,*, Akio Imai2, Kazuo Matsushige2, Takehiko Fukushima1

1Environmental Modeling and Creation, Integrative Environmental Sciences, Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Tennoudai, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8572, Japan
2National Institute for Environmental Studies, 16-2 Onogawa, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-0053, Japan

ABSTRACT: Dissolved organic matter (DOM) in lake water can have a harmful effect on algal growth through either direct toxicity or iron limitation induced by its complexation with iron. We assessed the effect of iron complexation with DOM on algal growth in the eutrophic Lake Kasumigaura, Japan, using 2 species of cyanobacteria, Microcystis aeruginosa and Planktothrix agardhii, by combining the algal growth potential (AGP) test and pretreatment of DOM decomposition by UV irradiation. We also determined which nutrient limited the growth of the 2 species in the lake water using the AGP test: iron limited the growth of the 2 species, as did nitrogen and phosphorus in Lake Kasumigaura. Moreover, the growth of the 2 species was inhibited by iron complexation with DOM. This is consistent with our results regarding iron speciation in Lake Kasumigaura by cathodic stripping voltammetry: most (>99.9%) of the dissolved iron was present as organic species in the lake water. Furthermore, data from our AGP test suggest that iron requirement or iron availability between the 2 species are different. This difference in growth characteristics between algal species would be an important determinant of the dominance of specific algal species.

KEY WORDS: Dissolved organic matter · DOM · Cyanobacteria · Iron · Organic complexation

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