Effect of light and turbulent mixing on the growth of Skeletonema costatum (Bacillariophyceae) Academic Article uri icon


  • Skeletonema costatum was grown in an outdoor mesocosm to test the hypothesis that fluctuations in irradiance brought about by changes in mixing time and depth can reduce diatom growth and biomass in the turbulent mixed layer. The light environment and mixing regime within the mesocosm were comparable to those in shallow lakes and coastal waters. Experiments showed no significant differences for 24-h mean and 7-day mean chlorophyll a and carbon-specific growth for mixed depths of 1 m and 3 m, and mixing times between 4 min and 65 min. Fluctuations in irradiance brought about by turbulent mixing had no significant effect on specific growth. The relationship between mixed depths and critical depths for S. costatum was therefore independent of fluctuations in irradiance in the turbulent mixed layer. The results indicated that to control growth of S. costatum mixed depths would have to exceed photic depths by a factor of 15, instead of the conventionally accepted factor of 5. Thus, it is likely that artificial mixing of shallow (<10 m) eutrophic waters will be more effective in controlling 'slow-growing' summer biomass than 'fast-growing' spring blooms dominated by diatoms. Springer-Verlag 2004.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Patel, D., Thake, B., & Thornton, D.

citation count

  • 2

complete list of authors

  • Patel, D||Thake, B||Thornton, DCO

publication date

  • March 2005