Allelopathy is wide spread among marine phytoplankton, including diatoms, which can produce cytotoxic secondary metabolites such as polyunsaturated aldehydes (PUA). Most studies on diatom-produced PUA have been dedicated to their inhibitory effects on reproduction and development of marine invertebrates. However, little information exists on their impact on key herbivores in the ocean, microzooplankton. This study examined the effects of dissolved 2E,4E-octadienal and 2E,4E-heptadienal on the growth rates of natural ciliate and dinoflagellate populations in the Chesapeake Bay and the coastal Atlantic waters. The overall effect of PUA on microzooplankton growth was negative, especially at the higher concentrations, but there were pronounced differences in response among common planktonic species. For example, the growth of Codonella sp., Leegaardiella sol, Prorodon sp., and Gyrodinium spirale was impaired at 2 nM, whereas Strombidium conicum, Cyclotrichium gigas, and Gymnodinium sp. were not affected even at 20 nM. These results indicate that PUA can induce changes in microzooplankton dynamics and species composition.
Lavrentyev, Peter J.; Franze, Gayantonia; Pierson, James J.; and Stoecker, Diane K., "The Effect of Dissolved Polyunsaturated Aldehydes on Microzooplankton Growth Rates in the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Coastal Waters" (2015). Biology Faculty Research. 224.
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