Growth rates of three geographically separated strains of the ichthyotoxic Prymnesium parvum (Prymnesiophyceae) in response to six different pH levels

Highlights

• Effects of pH was examined on the fish-killing haptophyte Prymnesium parvum.
• Geographically separated strains were grown under manipulated pH from 6.6 to   9.1
• Strain specific tolerances to these pH levels were observed.
• Strain differences were attributed to provenance or culture age.

Abstract
Continued anthropogenic carbon emissions are expected to cause a decline in global average pH of the oceans to a projected value of 7.8 by the end of the century. Understanding how harmful algal bloom (HAB) species will respond to lowered pH levels will be important when predicting future HAB events and their ecological consequences. In this study, we examined how manipulated pH levels affected the growth rate of three strains of Prymnesium parvum from North America, Denmark and Japan. Triplicate strains were grown under pH conditions ranging from 6.6 to 9.1 to simulate plausible future levels. Different tolerances were evident for all strains. Significantly higher growth rates were observed at pH 6.6–8.1 compared to growth rates at pH 8.6–9.1 and a lower pH limit was not observed. The Japanese strain (NIES-1017) had the highest maximum growth rate of 0.39 divisions day−1 at pH 6.6 but a low tolerance (0.22 divisions day−1) to high levels (pH 9.1) with growth declining markedly after pH 7.6. The Danish (SCCAP K-0081) and North American (UTEX LB 2797) strains had maximum growth rates of 0.26 and 0.35 divisions day−1, respectively between pH 6.6–8.1. Compared to the other two strains the Danish strain had a statistically lower growth rate across all pH treatments. Strain differences were either attributed to their provenance or the length of time the strain had been in culture.

Lysgaard M. L., Eckford-Soper L., Daugbjerg N., in press. Growth rates of three geographically separated strains of the ichthyotoxic Prymnesium parvum (Prymnesiophyceae) in response to six different pH levels. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science. Article (subscription required).

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