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The Influence of Environmental Factors on the Distribution of Freshwater Algae: An Experimental Study: II. The Role of pH and the Carbon Dioxide-Bicarbonate System

Brian Moss
Journal of Ecology
Vol. 61, No. 1 (Mar., 1973), pp. 157-177
DOI: 10.2307/2258925
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2258925
Page Count: 21
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The Influence of Environmental Factors on the Distribution of Freshwater Algae: An Experimental Study: II. The Role of pH and the Carbon Dioxide-Bicarbonate System
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Abstract

Oligotrophic species of algae would not grow at pH values above 8.6-8.85, whilst eutrophic ones grew at pH values above 9, and at considerably higher bicarbonate levels than did the former. The results are interpreted in terms of the available free CO2 at various combinations of pH and bicarbonate. Oligotrophic species are probably confined to free CO2 as an inorganic carbon source for photosynthesis, and may be unable to absorb it below certain concentrations (at least 0.011 mM). Eutrophic species may either use bicarbonate directly or may be able to use free CO2 at very low concentrations. Field observations support the hypothesis that the availability of free CO2 prevents growth of oligotrophic species in hard waters.

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