Summary: Colonies of in Abbots Pool, Avon, UK, were found to regulate their buoyancy according to light (photon flux density). The autumnal decline of the population was associated with an increase in the proportion of colonies that were non-buoyant, and with declining temperatures in the pond. Non-buoyant colonies taken from the pond regained buoyancy in the dark rapidly at 20°C but only slowly at 12°C and below. A laboratory strain of behaved in a similar manner. Comparisons of the behaviour of this organism placed at 8°C and 20°C were made; in high photon flux density buoyancy was lost at both temperatures due to accumulation of dense carbohydrate. When transferred to the dark cells at 20°C became buoyant again as carbohydrate was utilized and more gas vesicles were made; at 8°C much less carbohydrate was used and no increase in gas-vacuolation occurred. The failure to regain buoyancy in the dark at low temperatures accounts for the loss of buoyancy and sedimentation of the in Abbots Pool.


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