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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 3 No. 4, p. 423-428
    Received: Nov 5, 1973

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Microbial Decomposition of Species of Freshwater Planktonic Algae1

  1. A. L. Mills and
  2. M. Alexander2



Suspensions of axenically grown algae underwent aerobic decomposition in a solution free of nitrogen, phosphorus, and organic carbon. The rate and extent of mineralization of algal cell carbon and nitrogen and the solubilization of algal cell phosphorus varied appreciably among the test organisms. Chlamydomonas oblonga underwent rapid decomposition; Chlorella sp. lost carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus slowly; and Ankistrodesmus falcatus and Astemcoccus superbus lost their carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus at intermediate rates. Microorganisms from sewage markedly influenced the rate of liberation of some of the elements contained in A. falcatus and A. superbus but had little or no effect on the mineralization of carbon and nitrogen or on the release of phosphorus from cells of C. oblonga and Chlorella sp. Cells from 14-day cultures of C. oblonga and A. falcatus were more quickly decomposed than cells from 28-day cultures.

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