Shantou Univ, Ctr Sci, Inst Marine Biol, Shantou 515063, Peoples R China; Chinese Acad Sci, Inst Hydrobiol, Wuhan 430072, Peoples R China
Intertidal macroalgae experience continual alternation of photosynthesis between aquatic state at high tide and aerial state at low tide. The comparative photosynthetic responses to inorganic carbon were investigated in the common intertidal macroalga Ulva lactuca L. along the coast of Shantou between aquatic and aerial state. The inorganic carbon dissolved in seawater at present could fully (at 10 degreesC or 20 degreesC) or nearly (at 30 degreesC) saturate the aquatic photosynthesis of U. lactuca. However, the aerial photosynthesis was limited by current ambient atmospheric CO2 level, and such a limitation was more severe at higher temperature (20degrees - 30degrees T) than at lower temperature (10 T). The carbon-saturated maximal photosynthesis of U. lactuca under aerial state was much greater than that under aquatic state at 10 degreesC and 20 degreesC, while the maximal photosynthesis under both states was similar at 30 degreesC. The aerial values of K-m (CO2) for photosynthesis were higher than the aquatic values. On the contrary, the values of apparent photosynthetic CO2 conductance under aerial state were considerably lower than that under aquatic state. It was concluded that the increase of atmospheric CO2 would enhance the primary productivity of U. lactuca through stimulating the photosynthesis under aerial state during low tide.