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Effects of Small-sScale Turbulence on the Physiological Functioning of Marine Algae

AutorBerdalet, Elisa ; Estrada, Marta
Fecha de publicación2006
EditorScience publishing
CitaciónAlgal cultures, analogues of blooms and applications 2(13): 459-500 (2006)
ResumenMarine microalgae are typically smaller than 200 µm. At this small scale, the direct effects of water turbulence on plankton are of potential ecophysiological importance. Turbulence interacts with the transport of molecules in and out of the cells, affects contact rates (and, hence, the coagulation and predation processes) between suspended plankters, and may cause mechanical cell damage, morphological changes and alterations of cell division and growth. In the case of motile cells, their trajectories in the water column are modulated by both organism swimming behaviour and water motion. We explore the available theoretical and experimental information on the ecophysiological effects of small-scale turbulence on phytoplankton and present a brief outline of the relevant fluid dynamics concepts. Overall, dinoflagellates appear to be a especially sensitive group to small-scale turbulence. However, the comparison among different studies is not straightforward due to the variety of setups and the lack of quantification of the turbulent kinetic energy applied in many of the experiments. The direct extrapolation to natural conditions should be done with caution. In nature, the dynamics of plankton communities is driven by the interaction between physical forcing at various scales, the ecophysiological responses to small scale turbulence, and the effects of other biological and environmental factors
Descripción42 pages, 6 figures, 3 tables
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