Effect of suspended clay on growth rates of the cyanobacterium Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii

Jandeson Brasil*, Vera L.M. Huszar, José L. Attayde, Marcelo M. Marinho, Frank Van Oosterhout, Miquel Lürling

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Recent studies have shown that sediment resuspension may lead to the collapse of C. raciborskii dominance, which suggests that clay might have a negative effect on the growth of C. raciborskii. To test the hypothesis that suspended clay creates an unfavorable environment for growth of C. raciborskii, we exposed four different strains of this species to various concentrations of the clays kaolinite and bentonite, and monitored the biomass of each strain over the course of 1-week microcosm experiments. Contrary to our hypothesis, C. raciborskii was able to grow in suspensions of both clays. While kaolinite clay caused higher turbidity than bentonite, the growth rates of all four C. raciborskii strains were higher in kaolinite than in bentonite suspensions. C. raciborskii could still grow in clay concentrations that cause turbidity far above the levels found in natural lakes. Our study suggests that the reported collapse of C. raciborskii blooms with high concentrations of suspended sediments in tropical shallow lakes is probably not caused by the effects of suspended clay on light attenuation, but rather is a consequence of cell sinking or, possibly a response to disturbance events responsible for sediment suspension.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-23
JournalFundamental and Applied Limnology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017


  • Cyanobacteria
  • Inorganic turbidity
  • Light availability
  • Sedimentation
  • Suspended solids


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