Factors that affect the growth and photosynthesis of the filamentous green algae, Chaetomorpha valida, in static sea cucumber aquaculture ponds with high salinity and high pH

Chaetomorpha valida, dominant filamentous green algae, can be harmful to sea cucumber growth in aquaculture ponds of China. In order to understand the environmental factors affecting the growth of C. valida in sea cucumber aquaculture ecosystems, a combination of field investigations and laboratory experiments were conducted. Field surveys over one year revealed that C. valida survived in sea cucumber aquaculture ponds in salinities ranging from 24.3 ± 0.01‰ to 32.0 ± 0.02‰ and a pH range of 7.5 ± 0.02–8.6 ± 0.04. The high salinity and pH during the period of low C. valida biomass from January to May lay the foundation for its rapid growth in the following months of June to October. Many factors interact in the field environment, thus, laboratory experiments were conducted to determine the isolated effects of pH and salinity on C. valida growth. In laboratory experiments, samples were incubated under different salinity and pH conditions at 25 °C, with a light intensity of 108 μmol photon·m−2·s−1, and a photoperiod of 12 L:12 D. Results showed that salinity and pH significantly affect the growth and Fv/Fm (quantum yield of photosynthesis) of C. valida (p < 0.01). C. valida grew the longest at a salinity of 34‰ and a pH of 8.0. At 34‰ salinity, C. valida grew to 26.44 ± 5.89 cm in 16 days. At a pH of 8.0, C. valida grew to 67.96 ± 4.45 cm in 32 days. Fv/Fm was 0.635 ± 0.002 at a salinity of 32‰, and 0.550 ± 0.006 to 0.660± 0.001 at pH 7.0 to 8.5. Based on these results, we conclude that C. valida can bloom in sea cucumber ponds due to the high salinity and pH of coastal sea waters, which promote growth and maintain the photosynthetic activity of C. valida.

Xing​ R., Ma W., Shao Y., Cao X., Chen L. & Jiang A., 2019. Factors that affect the growth and photosynthesis of the filamentous green algae, Chaetomorpha valida, in static sea cucumber aquaculture ponds with high salinity and high pH. PeerJ 7: e6468. doi: 10.7717/peerj.6468. Article.

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