In contrast to diatoms, cryptophytes are susceptible to iron limitation, but not to ocean acidification


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marianne.camoying [ at ] awi.de

Abstract

Previous field studies in the Southern Ocean (SO) indicated an increased occurrence and dominance of cryptophytes over diatoms due to climate change. To gain a better mechanistic understanding of how the two ecologically important SO phytoplankton groups cope with ocean acidification (OA) and iron (Fe) availability, we chose two common representatives of Antarctic waters, the cryptophyte Geminigera cryophila and the diatom Pseudo-nitzschia subcurvata. Both species were grown at 2°C under different pCO2 (400 vs. 900 μatm) and Fe (0.6 vs. 1.2 nM) conditions. For P. subcurvata, an additional high pCO2 level was applied (1400 μatm). At ambient pCO2 under low Fe supply, growth of G. cryophila almost stopped while it remained unaffected in P. subcurvata. Under high Fe conditions, OA was not beneficial for P. subcurvata, but stimulated growth and carbon production of G. cryophila. Under low Fe supply, P. subcurvata coped much better with OA than the cryptophyte, but invested more energy into photoacclimation. Our study reveals that Fe limitation was detrimental for the growth of G. cryophila and suppressed the positive OA effect. The diatom was efficient in coping with low Fe, but was stressed by OA while both factors together strongly impacted its growth. The distinct physiological response of both species to OA and Fe limitation explains their occurrence in the field. Based on our results, Fe availability is an important modulator of OA effects on SO phytoplankton, with different implications on the occurrence of cryptophytes and diatoms in the future.



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Article
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Helmholtz Cross Cutting Activity (2021-2027)
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Peer-reviewed, Web of Science / Scopus
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Published
Eprint ID
55761
DOI 10.1111/ppl.13614

Cite as
Camoying, M. G. , Thoms, S. , Geuer, J. K. , Koch, B. P. , Bischof, K. and Trimborn, S. (2022): In contrast to diatoms, cryptophytes are susceptible to iron limitation, but not to ocean acidification , Physiologia Plantarum, 174 (1) . doi: 10.1111/ppl.13614


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