Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science




Dr. Charles G. Trick

Second Advisor

Dr. Susan F. Koval

Third Advisor

Dr. Norman P.A. Hüner


Flagellate blooms influenced by anthropogenic contamination of coastal waters often are composed of Eutreptiella gymnastica, Eutreptiella sp. strain JDF-E1, Heterosigma akashiwo and Chattonella subsalsa. This study compared the physiological characteristics of these coastal water flagellates in an effort to explain bloom formation of one strain over another. Physiological differences were assessed in vitro by monitoring growth responses to different forms of nitrogen, and vitamins, and varying levels of light, iron limitation, and copper. This study demonstrated that H. akashiwo may be an r- selected bloom strain controlled by high nutrient levels. Eutreptiella may form secondary blooms due to their efficiency at utilizing remineralized nutrients and the ability to use ligand-bound iron. C. subsalsa had the lowest effective growth under all conditions examined, and blooms may result from other factors, not examined in this study. This comparison study has provided us with an enhanced knowledge about factors that may lead to bloom initiation.



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