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Comparison of Chlorophyll and Photosynthesis Parameters of Floating and Attached Ulva prolifera

Lin, Apeng, Shen, Songdong, Wang, Guangce, Yi, Qianqian, Qiao, Hongjin, Niu, Jianfeng, Pan, Guanghua
Journal of integrative plant biology 2011 v.53 no.1 pp. 25-34
Ulva prolifera, Ulvales, algal blooms, chlorophyll, coasts, fluorescence, photosynthesis, spores, thallus, China
In mid-May 2008 a serious green tide caused mainly by floating Ulva prolifera (Müller) J. Agardh (Chlorophyta, Ulvales) thalli struck the coastal area of Qingdao, China. To understand the present physiological conditions of the floating alga, in this work both laboratory and field investigations were conducted on the floating U. prolifera thalli in comparison with the attached U. prolifera thalli collected from the area. The floating thalli of three distinctively different colors and attached thalli at three different stages of sporangium formation process were characterized under a microscope, while their photosynthetic parameters were determined with chlorophyll fluorescence technology. On the other hand, the sporangium formation status of the floating U. prolifera thalli was surveyed both in the laboratory and in the field. Comparisons showed that both of the paired morphological characteristics and the paired physiological parameters of the floating and attached U. prolifera thalli were consistent. Furthermore, some spores were confirmed in the field and some motile particles were found within the floating thalli. These results suggest that the floating U. prolifera thalli with different colors could be at different stages of sporangium formation. However, our results also showed that the floating alga thalli have only a limited reproductive potential. This might limit the duration and the further geographic expansion of the green algal bloom.