Ecological Studies and Mathematical Modeling of Cladophora in Lake Huron: 3. The Dependence of Growth Rates on Internal Phosphorus Pool Size

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The relationship between growth rate and internal phosphorus pool size was examined using field populations of Cladophora glomerata from Lake Huron. Algal samples, representing a range of internal phosphorus concentrations, were harvested from the lake and used for laboratory measurements of growth. Rates of net photosynthesis and respiration were measured under controlled conditions of light and temperature using a dissolved oxygen (light/dark bottle) technique. The net specific growth rate and respiration rate were calculated from photosynthesis and respiration measurements using a fixed stoichiometric relationship and the measured carbon content of the algae. The maximum rates for net specific growth rate, gross specific growth rate, and specific respiration rate were 0.77, 1.08, and 0.44 day−1, respectively. Management decisions may be importantly influenced by the relationships derived from these data. A non-linear response by growth to reductions in phosphorus loading is suggested from the results of these experiments. The internal nutrient status of algal populations (e.g. Cladophora) must be considered in predictions of the impact of phosphorus management strategies on aquatic systems. © 1982, International Association for Great Lakes Research. All rights reserved.

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Journal of Great Lakes Research