Lower pH Limit for the Existence of Blue-Green Algae: Evolutionary and Ecological Implications

Science  02 Feb 1973:
Vol. 179, Issue 4072, pp. 480-483
DOI: 10.1126/science.179.4072.480


Observations on a wide variety of acidic environments, both natural and man-made, reveal that blue-green algae (Cyanophyta) are completely absent from habitats in which the pH is less than 4 or 5, whereas eukaryotic algae flourish. By using enrichment cultures with inocula from habitats of various pH values, the absence of blue-green algae at low pH was confirmed.