A study of the nitrogen stable isotope dynamics of phytoplankton in a simple natural ecosystem

Hideyuki Doi, Eisuke Kikuchi, Shuichi Shikano, Shigeto Takagi

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9 Citations (Scopus)


We investigated fluctuations in the nitrogen stable isotope ratio (δ15N) of Chlamydomonas acidophila (Chlorophyceae) by short-interval sampling during a bloom that occurred from 11 May to 29 July 2001 in Lake Katanuma, Japan. In this lake, C. acidophila uses NH4 + as the primary inorganic nitrogenous nutrient, since only trace amounts of other inorganic nitrogenous compounds are present. The δ15N values obtained for C. acidophila ranged from -7.8 to -3.4 ‰ during the study period. The lowest values occurred during periods characterized by high concentrations of NH4+ (>15 μmol l-1), and our results showed that δ15N values for C. acidophila were negatively correlated with concentrations of NH4+. The results suggest that this nutrient plays a major role in the variation of the δ15N value for this species. The nitrogen isotope fraction factor (ε) of C. acidophila was much lower than that of many NH4+-based primary producers from other eutrophic environments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-291
Number of pages7
JournalAquatic Microbial Ecology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Sep 14


  • Acidic lake
  • Inorganic nutrient
  • Isotope fractionation
  • Lake Katanuma
  • Nitrogen
  • Phytoplankton
  • Spring bloom
  • Stable isotope

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science


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