Algal blooms in eutrophic water bodies are controlled by inputs of phosphorus (P) as the growth-limiting nutrient. Runoff particulate P associated with soil from fields often predominates among P fractions. Here, an algal bioassay to investigate the potential bioavailability of particulate P in soil collected from a citrus orchard was conducted. Microcystis aeruginosa was cultured in medium containing soil as the sole source of P. The P in the soil was not notably solubilized after autoclaving. Analyses of chlorophyll-a, suspended solids, particulate organic carbon, and particulate organic nitrogen showed that M. aeruginosa could utilize some of the P present in the soil, perhaps that in particulate form, but this form of P was not sufficient to maintain optimum growth.
Keywords: algal growth potential test, Microcystis aeruginosa, particulate phosphorus