Increasing importance of small phytoplankton in a warmer ocean
Moran, Xose Anxelu G.
Li, William K. W.
MetadataShow full item record
KeywordTemperature; Phytoplankton; Cell size; Cell abundance; Picophytoplankton; Allometric relationships; Ocean warming; North Atlantic
The macroecological relationships between marine phytoplankton total cell density, community size structure and temperature have lacked a theoretical explanation. The tiniest members of this planktonic group comprise cyanobacteria and eukaryotic algae smaller than 2 μm in diameter, collectively known as picophytoplankton. We combine here two ecological rules, the temperature-size relationship with the allometric size-scaling of population abundance to explain a remarkably consistent pattern of increasing picophytoplankton biomass with temperature over the -0.6 to 22ºC range in a merged dataset obtained in the eastern and western temperate North Atlantic Ocean across a diverse range of environmental conditions. Our results show that temperature alone was able to explain 73% of the variance in the relative contribution of small cells to total phytoplankton biomass regardless of differences in trophic status or inorganic nutrient loading. Our analysis predicts a gradual shift towards smaller primary producers in a warmer ocean. Since the fate of photosynthesized organic carbon largely depends on phytoplankton size we anticipate future alterations in the functioning of oceanic ecosystems.
Author Posting. © The Author(s), 2009. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of Blackwell Publishing for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Global Change Biology 16 (2010): 1137-1144, doi:10.1111/j.1365-2486.2009.01960.x.
Suggested CitationPreprint: Moran, Xose Anxelu G., Lopez-Urrutia, Angel, Calvo-Diaz, Alejandra, Li, William K. W., "Increasing importance of small phytoplankton in a warmer ocean", 2009-03-19, https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2486.2009.01960.x, https://hdl.handle.net/1912/3199
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Variability in the mechanisms controlling Southern Ocean phytoplankton bloom phenology in an ocean model and satellite observations Rohr, Tyler; Long, Matthew C.; Kavanaugh, Maria T.; Lindsay, Keith; Doney, Scott C. (John Wiley & Sons, 2017-05-30)A coupled global numerical simulation (conducted with the Community Earth System Model) is used in conjunction with satellite remote sensing observations to examine the role of top-down (grazing pressure) and bottom-up ...
The effects of dilution and mixed layer depth on deliberate ocean iron fertilization : 1-D simulations of the southern ocean iron experiment (SOFeX) Krishnamurthy, Aparna; Moore, J. Keith; Doney, Scott C. (2007-06-25)To better understand the role of iron in driving marine ecosystems, the Southern Ocean Iron Experiment (SOFeX) fertilized two surface water patches with iron north and south of the Antarctic Polar Front Zone (APFZ). Using ...
Phytoplankton phenology indices in coral reef ecosystems : application to ocean-color observations in the Red Sea Racault, Marie-Fanny; Raitsos, Dionysios E.; Berumen, Michael L.; Brewin, Robert J. W.; Platt, Trevor; Sathyendranath, Shubha; Hoteit, Ibrahim (Elsevier, 2015-02-18)Phytoplankton, at the base of the marine food web, represent a fundamental food source in coral reef ecosystems. The timing (phenology) and magnitude of the phytoplankton biomass are major determinants of trophic interactions. ...