Cyanobacterial Blooms: Carbon and Nitrogen Limitation Have Opposite Effects on the Buoyancy of Oscillatoria

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Science  26 Mar 1982:
Vol. 215, Issue 4540, pp. 1629-1631
DOI: 10.1126/science.215.4540.1629


Gas vacuolation in Oscillatoria rubescens decreased with increased nitrogen limitation and increased with transitions from nitrogen to inorganic carbon limitation. Gas vacuoles consist of protein vesicles that can accumulate in carbon- limited but not in unenriched nitrogen-limited cells. Nitrogen limitation is a factor in the formation of deep population maxima; carbon limitation can promote surface blooms.