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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The effect of copper on phytoplankton Leblanc, Michael Joseph


The sensitivitiy of several species of marine phytoplankton to copper was investigated. No specific trends were found with respect to any general differences between diatoms and dinoflagellates or between different sized cells. Further investigation using a single bioassay species, Nitzschia lonqissima, indicate it to be very sensitive to cupric ion activity. Several physiological systems appear to be affected to different degrees, with cell division being more affected than photosynthetic pigment production or ¹⁴C uptake. The activity of the enzyme nitrate reductase is greatly increased by the addition of low concentrations of copper.

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