Accumulation of Copper and Zinc and their Effects on Growth and Maximum Quantum Yield of the Brown Macroalga Padina Gymnospora

  • F Mamboya
  • H Pratap
  • M Mtolera
  • M Björk
Keywords: Copper, zinc, accumulation, growth, maximum quantum yield, Padina gymnospora


Accumulation and the effects of copper and zinc on the macroalga Padina gymnospora were assessed in the laboratory after artificial exposure to copper and zinc (separately or in combination). Exposure concentrations of copper used were 0, 25, 50, 100, 500 and 1,000 μg l-1. Concentrations of zinc exposure were 0, 50, 100, 250, 1,000 and 5,000 μg l-1. The simultaneous (or combined) addition of copper and zinc (Cu+Zn) involved 25+50, 50+100, 100+250, and 500+1,000 μg l-1. Accumulation patterns were determined by measuring tissue contents of copper and zinc, while the tolerance was assessed by measuring growth rate and photosynthetic performance, as maximum quantum yield (Fv/Fm). Furthermore, the influence of major nutrients (phosphates and nitrates) on algal-metal-accumulation was estimated after additions of nitrate (1, 10 and 20 mg l-1) and phosphate (0.1, 1 and 2 mg l-1). The data obtained showed that the accumulation increased linearly with the increase in metal concentration in the growth media. However, the presence of additional nitrate and phosphate reduced both the metal accumulation and their toxic effects. Both algal growth rate and maximum quantum yields were negatively affected in proportion to the increase in metal concentrations and exposure time. At exposures to 50, 100 and 500 μg l-1 copper, inhibition in growth was greater than 50%, while an exposure to 1,000 μg l-1of zinc was needed to cause the same effect on growth and Fv/Fm. Growth rate was a more sensitive indicator of stress than maximum quantum yield in response to exposure to copper and zinc.

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eISSN: 0856-860X
print ISSN: 0856-860X