ADAPTATION OF UNICELLULAR ALGAE TO IRRADIANCE: AN ANALYSIS OF STRATEGIES

K. RICHARDSON, J. BEARDALL, J. A. RAVEN

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Abstract

Analysis of data in the literature relating to microalgal adaptations to different photon flux densities indicates that different algal classes have significantly different light requirements for growth and photosynthesis. Although there is some variability within each class, dinoflagellates and blue‐green algae generally photosynthesize and grow best at low photon flux densities. Diatoms also tend to be able to grow at very low photon flux densities (growth for some species has been reported at less than 1 μE m−1 s−2). Comparison of the photon flux densities at which photoinhibition occurs in dainoflagellates and diatoms suggests that the former often experience photoinhibition at comparatively low irradiances. In contrast, diatoms often can tolerate relatively high light environments. This tolerance of a large absolute range of photon flux densities may, in part, explain why diatoms are often associated with spring blooms. Green algae

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-191
Number of pages35
JournalNew Phytologist
Volume93
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1983
Externally publishedYes

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