Production of Spirulina biomass: Effects of environmental factors and population density

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193 Scopus citations


The effects of environmental conditions (solar irradiance and temperature) and population density on the production of Spirulina biomass are reported for cultures grown in outdoor ponds. Both the specific rate of photosynthesis, expressed on a chlorophyll basis, and the rate of respiration, on a protein basis, decreased as algal concentration increased. Higher specific growth rates were observed at lower population densities. Lower growth rates were associated with the light limitation in dense cultures for optimum conditions in the summer. Seasonal variation was observed in productivity. In summer light was the limiting factor whereas in winter the low daytime temperature appeared to impose the major limitation. It was found that the oxygen concentration in the culture can serve as a useful indicator of limiting factors and can also be used as a means of estimating the extent of such limitations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-185
Number of pages11
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1982


  • Spirulina platensis
  • outdoor algal ponds
  • photosynthesis
  • population density

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • General Engineering
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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