The effect of small-scale fluid motion on the green alga Scenedesmus quadricauda

Midhat M. Hondzo, Amit Kapur, Carole A. Lembi

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The effect of shear flow on the green alga Scenedesmus quadricauda grown in Bristol's medium was tested. The shear flow was generated using a Couette type rotating cylinder apparatus. Growth of Scenedesmus quadricauda, measured in terms of chlorophyll a concentration, was inhibited under different fluid motions. Inhibition was most pronounced at high Reynolds number (Re) and the corresponding mean rate of energy dissipation (e). Algal growth was maximum during the stagnant fluid flow experiment. The floes comprised of dead and living cells of algae formed as a result of shear flow. Cell morphometry did not change consistently under different flow conditions but cell destruction was evident. A two step model is proposed, relating algal growth as a function of Re, and e. The attenuation factor, φ for growth limiting conditions under different fluid motions, was denned as the ratio of the algal growth rate constant to the maximum algal growth constant under stagnant fluid flow conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)225-235
Number of pages11
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - 1997


  • Algal growth
  • Energy dissipation
  • Fluid flow
  • Green alga

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