Control of algal growth on greenhouse surfaces using commercial algaecides

Greenhouses and nurseries provide ideal environments for facilitating the formation of nuisance algal mats. Algal growth poses safety concerns to horticulturists and stimulates the propagation of unwanted plant pests and pathogens.

To date, few strategies and data are available to effectively manage algal problems. The effectiveness of five algaecides was tested on two varying surfaces of greenhouses in situ to elucidate the efficacy of chemical methods of removing algae. Moreover, Nostoc commune (Vaucher ex Bornet & Flahault) was treated on ceramic tiles in vitro, as it is a common alga in greenhouses and nurseries.

Researchers found that each algaecide had different effects, depending on the chemical applied, the surface to which the chemical was applied, and finally the types of algae that were targeted. Algaecides across the surfaces tested demonstrated that algal cell characteristics and communal makeup played an important role in algaecide efficacy, where mucilaginous algae were replaced by sheath-forming filamentous cyanobacteria. They found sodium carbonate peroxyhydrate to be the most effective chemical in terms of controlling Nostoc on tarp, gravel, and ceramic surfaces.

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