Growth characterization of non-photosynthetic diatoms, <i>Nitzschia</i> spp., inhabiting estuarine mangrove forests of Ishigaki Island, Japan
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The non-photosynthetic diatoms <i>Nitzschia</i> spp. are known to have evolved from photosynthetic species to heterotrophic species by the loss of photosynthesis. We investigated their ability to tolerate wide ranges of temperatures and salinities. <i>Nitzschia</i> spp. were capable of surviving or thriving even at 5°C and 35°C. In addition, these diatoms were also capable of surviving at salinities of 0.5 and 12.0, while thriving at those from 1.0 to 9.0. Such tolerance to a wide range of temperatures and salinities would allow these non-photosynthetic diatoms to thrive in mangrove estuaries, where environmental conditions often drastically fluctuate. Our experiments revealed that the growth rates of the non-photosynthetic diatoms were larger than those estimated based on cell volumes and temperature, suggesting that these non-photosynthetic diatoms may be an important group of organisms contributing to material circulation by growing heterotrophically in mangrove estuaries.
- Plankton and Benthos Research
Plankton and Benthos Research 12(3), 164-170, 2017
The Plankton Society of Japan, The Japanese Association of Benthology