Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography
Table of Contents, Vol. 38 (2), 1993
NYGAARD, KARI, AND AUGUST TOBIESEN
“Bacterivory in algae: A survival strategy during nutrient limitation” p.273-279
Bacteria have a high P content even when phosphate is limited (Andersen et al. 1986), although their P content can be reduced when they are drastically starved (Tezuka 1990). Bacteria are therefore a potential source of P when obligate phototrophic algal flagellates are subjected to P limitation, because bacteria are more efficient at sequestering P under these conditions (Bratbak and Thingstad 198 5).
Phosphate deficiency alone may be insufficient for the success of bacterivorous algae because their growth requires that other environmental factors are also favorable.
Bacteria have been shown to out-compete algal flagellates in phosphate-limited chemostats at low dilution rates (Currie and Kalff 1984; Bratbak and Thingstad 1985).
Our results suggest that algae able to graze and use P compounds in the bacteria will have a compensatory mechanism to overcome their competitive disadvantage.
If you want to avoid toxic algae in your tank, avoid this condition!