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Research Article

Effect of Lowered pH on Community Composition, Growth and Cell Morphology of Freshwater Phytoplankton

Shaswati Chakraborty, Mahin Afroz, Riyad Hossen

Department of Botany, University of Barishal, Barishal-8254, Bangladesh


Article History

Received: 25 June 2021, Revised: 27 August 2021, Accepted: 30 August 2021, Published online: 24 October 2021


This experiment studied the probable effects of lowered pH (6.5 to 5.0) on four freshwater phytoplankton species Chlorella vulgaris Beyerinck, Scenedesmus quadricauda (Turpin) Brebbison, Euglena granulata (Klebs) Schmitz and Gomphonema subtile Ehrenberg. The initial community composition was 2:2:1:1 for the four taxa respectively, which changed to 1.7:1.6:1:1 in pH 6.0, 1.6:2:1.6:1 in pH 5.5 and 1.2:2:1.8:1 in pH 5.0. The two chlorophytes showed almost gradual decreasing in growth rates and cell densities with the decreases in pH values, while diatom E. granulata showed more tolerance in a wide range of pH (6.5 to 5.5). Conspicuous changes in total biomass first observed in pH 6.0 and it reached the drastic level in pH 5.0. Moreover, significant changes in cell size of S. qaudricuada and E. granulata were found in pH 5.0 only. This lowered pH range has no effects on cell shape of the studied phytoplankton species.


Phytoplankton, Growth rate, Biomass, Cell size, pH effects.

Corresponding Author

Riyad Hossen


Conflict of Interest

The authors declared that they have no any known interest with others about the article.


This work was supported partly by the Ministry of Science and Technology of the People's Republic of Bangladesh. The authors are also grateful to the Md. Alimur Rahman, Principal Scientific Officer, Regional Agricultural Research Station, Bangladesh Agricul-tural Research Institute, Barishal, Bangladesh.

To Cite the Article

Chakraborty S, Afroz M, Hossen R. Effect of lowered pH on community composition, growth and cell morphology of freshwater phytoplankton. Current Environment. 2021;1:3-8.