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The influence of abiotic factors on the bloom-forming alga Ulva flexuosa (Ulvaceae, Chlorophyta): possibilities for the control of the green tides in freshwater ecosystems
Rybak, A.S. & Gąbka, M. J Appl Phycol (2017).
Ulva species are characterised by the capacity to achieve rapid biomass increase, which results in the formation of “green tides”, particularly in nutrient-rich seawaters. Over the last decade, formation of large-scale Ulva mats has been increasingly observed in freshwater systems in Central Europe. Mass development of Ulva in freshwater ecosystems presents a growing burden in spite of its economic benefits. This study explores the formation dynamics of Ulva flexuosa mats with respect to habitat conditions, using the examples of a number of water systems located in Poland. Elevated water temperature, pH and high concentration of sulphates are among the most important factors affecting biometric parameters of Ulva blooms. An evident disparity was observed between lotic water ecosystems and lentic water ecosystems, which differed in terms of chemical characteristics of the habitat and mat structure properties. In flowing water, U. flexuosa displays a definitely higher potential for blooms. On the other hand, mass occurrence of U. flexuosa in freshwaters is caused by the inflow of fecund waters, especially following intense precipitation in summertime, as well as by periodic increases in salinity, pH and sulphate levels. The study suggests that potential U. flexuosa blooms in landlocked ecosystems may be controlled by means of reducing the inflow of particularly sulphate-rich waters.
This research was partially supported by the project S/P – B/028: “Interrelation among abiotic and biotic factors in aquatic ecosystems: environmental and experimental research”.
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