Carrying capacity of Chaetoceros gracilis in Homa Lagoon and the bay of Izmir
Marine diatom Chaetoceros gracilis has been investigated for its potential use as food in mariculture. In this study, we investigated the effects of temperature, salinity and nutrient on the growth of C. gracilis. The possibility for nutrient limitation to affect C. gracilis was assessed from two different ecosystems (Izmir Bay and Homa Lagoon). Our goal was to determine the growth rate of all nutrients and the maximum levels of the C. gracilis phytoplankton biomass (the maximum biomass carrying capacity) on the extent of its full growth and the level at which the nutrient restrictive growth keeps the biomass (biomass carrying capacity) and the nutrient(s) that sustain its year long growth. Nutrients significantly increased Izmir Bay and Homa Lagoon water’s carrying capacity throughout the year and it was found out that the nutrients which restricted the carrying capacity and the growth rate were nitrogenous compounds.
Key words: Chaetoceros gracilis, mariculture, nutrient effects, biomass, marine diatom.