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A large molecular size fraction of riverine high molecular weight dissolved organic matter (HMW DOM) stimulates growth of the harmful dinoflagellate Alexandrium minutum

  • Tony Fagerberg
  • Per Carlsson
  • Mikael Lundgren
Publishing year: 2009
Language: English
Pages: 823-831
Publication/Series: Harmful Algae
Volume: 8
Issue: 6
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Elsevier

Abstract english

An increase in the concentration of riverine dissolved organic matter (DOM) has been observed during the last decades, and this material can stimulate marine plankton in coastal waters with significant freshwater input. We studied the effect of two size fractions of riverine high molecular weight dissolved organic matter (HMW DOM), isolated with tangential ultrafiltration, on the harmful dinoflagellate Alexandrium minutum and a natural isolate of marine bacteria under laboratory conditions. Both A. minutum and bacteria grew significantly better with the low MW DOM compared to both the high MW DOM fraction and controls (no DOM additions). This experiment demonstrates that the harmful algae A. minutum and bacteria benefit from larger molecules of river HMW DOM, and highlights the potential of A. minutum to utilize organic nitrogen from large DOM molecules. This ability may enhance their likelihood of success in estuaries/costal waters with a humic rich freshwater input, especially when the relative amount of large molecules within DOM is more pronounced.


  • Ecology
  • River
  • Dissolved organic matter
  • Tangential ultrafiltration
  • Molecular size
  • Harmful algae
  • Bacteria
  • Alexandrium minutum


  • ISSN: 1878-1470
Per Carlsson
E-mail: per [dot] carlsson [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se

Senior lecturer

Division aquatic ecology

+46 46 222 84 35



Senior lecturer

Aquatic Ecology


Research group

Aquatic Ecology


Marine Pelagic Projects

Doctoral students and postdocs

PhD student, main supervisor

Johanna Stedt