Produção de TEP (Transparent Exopolymer Particles) em culturas de três espécies de microalgas isoladas do reservatório de Barra Bonita (Rio Tietê/SP)
Bittar, Thais Beraldo
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Transparent exopolymer particles (TEP) have recently been documented to be abundant in ocean waters and in algal cultures. TEP play important roles in the ecology of aquatic ecosystems since they might be a direct source of carbon for higher trophic levels via protists and microzooplankton. They also adsorb dissolved compounds and compose the matrix of marine snow. The extracellular carbohydrates released by phytoplankton are supposed to be the main source of TEP. The aims of the present study were to quantify the TEP produced by biotic and abiotic processes in cultures of the three most important algae species, with regard to phytoplanktonic biomass, of the Barra Bonita Reservoir (Tietê River/SP). The organic carbon content of distinct fractions ( cells , TEP , colloids and dissolved ) of the cultures was also analysed. The biotic production of TEP by the species Anabaena spiroides and Microcystis aeruginosa (Cyanophyceae) was higher than that of Aulacoseira granulate (Bacillariophyceae). TEP biotically produced corresponded to 37 mgC L-1 in the A. spiroides culture, 21 mgC L-1 in the M. aeruginosa culture and 3,0 mgC L-1 in the A. granulate culture, which represent significant quantities of the total organic carbon (72, 31 and 24% respectively) during the growth of cultures. The two biotic processes of TEP production which were observed and documented by photographs in the A. spiroides culture are related to the presence of the wide envelope. The three species release colloidal polysaccharides capable of abiotic transformation into TEP through the abiotic process of bubble scavenging. The biotic production of TEP by these algae species in hypereutrophic freshwater environments was more significant than the abiotic production and the latter must have quantitative importance only in highly polluted waters where the formation of foam may occur. Wherever abundant, these species contribute large quantities of particulate organic matter in the non-living compartment, as TEP.