Presentation Title

A Potential Invasive Species: the Effect of Salinity on the Growth of Tetraselmis, Chaetoceros, and Isochrysis

Faculty Mentor

Adriane Jones, Diane Kim

Start Date

23-11-2019 10:45 AM

End Date

23-11-2019 11:30 AM

Location

78

Session

poster 4

Type of Presentation

Poster

Subject Area

biological_agricultural_sciences

Abstract

Eukaryotic microalgae are important in marine ecosystems since they are the base of the food web. But, some microalgae can become an invasive species, which would make them a threat to ecosystems and could cause a break in the food chain. One trait that invasive microalgae have is a wide salinity tolerance. Some invasive microalgae with large salt tolerances can move from ocean habitats into freshwater; thus, disrupting the ecosystems. Microalgae can grow out of control with elevated nutrients. This study is significant in understanding the potential invasive threats that microalgae can have on a community. In this study, we investigated the viability of three microalgae (Tetraselmis sp., Chaetoceros sp., and Isochrysis sp.) at three different salinities (5‰, 15‰, and 35‰). We hypothesized that algae with a large salinity tolerance might have the potential to become an invasive species. We set up triplicate mesocosms and grew the three algae together for one week to test if one species would outcompete the others. We measured alga growth by counting cells with a hemocytometer and measuring chlorophyll concentration with a fluorometer. We found that all three species had their optimal growth at 35‰ salinity, which reflects their natural habitat. All three species also grew equally well or nearly equally well at 15‰; however, there was not much growth at 5‰. Tetraselmis sp., however, did show some growth in the 5‰ salinity. Chlorophyll concentration analysis supports this as well. This study suggests that Tetraselmis sp., Chaetoceros sp., and Isochrysis sp. all carry the potential to live in many different habitats and become a potentially invasive species.

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Nov 23rd, 10:45 AM Nov 23rd, 11:30 AM

A Potential Invasive Species: the Effect of Salinity on the Growth of Tetraselmis, Chaetoceros, and Isochrysis

78

Eukaryotic microalgae are important in marine ecosystems since they are the base of the food web. But, some microalgae can become an invasive species, which would make them a threat to ecosystems and could cause a break in the food chain. One trait that invasive microalgae have is a wide salinity tolerance. Some invasive microalgae with large salt tolerances can move from ocean habitats into freshwater; thus, disrupting the ecosystems. Microalgae can grow out of control with elevated nutrients. This study is significant in understanding the potential invasive threats that microalgae can have on a community. In this study, we investigated the viability of three microalgae (Tetraselmis sp., Chaetoceros sp., and Isochrysis sp.) at three different salinities (5‰, 15‰, and 35‰). We hypothesized that algae with a large salinity tolerance might have the potential to become an invasive species. We set up triplicate mesocosms and grew the three algae together for one week to test if one species would outcompete the others. We measured alga growth by counting cells with a hemocytometer and measuring chlorophyll concentration with a fluorometer. We found that all three species had their optimal growth at 35‰ salinity, which reflects their natural habitat. All three species also grew equally well or nearly equally well at 15‰; however, there was not much growth at 5‰. Tetraselmis sp., however, did show some growth in the 5‰ salinity. Chlorophyll concentration analysis supports this as well. This study suggests that Tetraselmis sp., Chaetoceros sp., and Isochrysis sp. all carry the potential to live in many different habitats and become a potentially invasive species.