Growth and photosynthetic responses of Ulva lactuca (Ulvales, Chlorophyta) germlings to different pH levels

In ocean ecosystems, fluctuations in seawater pH affect CO2 fluxes, fundamentally influencing the metabolism of marine algae, especially during the early stages of macroalgal development. In this study, short-term exposure tests (minutes) and prolonged culture experiments (eight days) were performed at different pH levels to investigate the growth and photosynthetic responses of Ulva lactuca (Ulvales, Chlorophyta) germlings. Both acidified and alkalized seawater significantly depressed algal photosynthesis during short-term exposure tests. Prolonged culture in acidified or alkalized seawater also notably decreased photosynthesis rates and growth rates of U. lactuca germlings, but increased energy consumption and lipid peroxidation, indicating damage to the germlings. Our results suggested that both lowered and increased pH levels of seawater exert significant physiological stress on U. lactucagermlings.

Chen B., Zou D. & Mingjun Zhu, 2017. Growth and photosynthetic responses of Ulva lactuca (Ulvales, Chlorophyta) germlings to different pH levels. Marine Biology Research 13(3):351-357. Article (subscription required).

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