Assay of Algal Nitrogen Fixation in the Marine Subtropics by Acetylene Reduction

Article metrics


WHILE SCUBA diving in the Tongue of the Ocean (Bahamas) and off the coast of south-eastern Florida near Miami, we found extensive benthic growths of blue-green, algae, which are especially prolific between depths of 20 and 50 m, and considerably more abundant in summer than winter. At their peak, the algae produce continuous, and sometimes almost unialgal felts at the surface of calcareous sediments between and beyond the limit of the coral heads of the offshore reef. During the winter they persist in isolated patches in sheltered positions beneath overhanging coral.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1

    Drouet, F., Revision of the Classification of the Oscillatoriaceae (Monogr. 15, Acad. Nat. Sci. of Philadelphia, 1968).

  2. 2

    Wyatt, J. T., and Silvey, J. K. G., Science, 165, 908 (1969).

  3. 3

    Stewart, W. D. P., Fitzgerald, G. P., and Burris, R. H., Proc. US Nat. Acad. Sci., 58, 2071 (1967).

  4. 4

    Dilworth, M. J., Biochim. Biophys. Acta, 127, 285 (1966).

  5. 5

    Schollhorn, R., and Burris, R. H., Fed. Proc., 25, 710 (1966).

  6. 6

    Provasoli, L., McLaughlin, J. A., and Droop, M. R., Arch. Mikrobiol., 25, 392 (1957).

  7. 7

    Turner, J. S., and Britain, E. G., Biol. Rev., 37, 130 (1962).

  8. 8

    Silver, W. S., Science, 157, 100 (1967).

  9. 9

    Lowry, O. H., Rosebrough, N. J., Farr, A. L., and Randall, R. J., J. Biol. Chem., 193, 265 (1951).

  10. 10

    Dugdale, R. C., Menzel, D. W., and Ryther, J. H., Deep-Sea Res., 7, 298 (1961).

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

BUNT, J., COOKSEY, K., HEEB, M. et al. Assay of Algal Nitrogen Fixation in the Marine Subtropics by Acetylene Reduction. Nature 227, 1163–1164 (1970) doi:10.1038/2271163a0

Download citation

Further reading


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.