Responses of Microplankton communities to N: Si ratio perturbations

Emily C Roberts, Keith Davidson, Linda C Gilpin

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Abstract

In order to study the effect of the nitrogen:silicon (N:Si) ratio on temperate microplankton food webs, mesocosm experiments were conducted in Trondheim (Norway) using two different ratios (molar ratios of 1:1 and 4:1). With the exception of diatoms, the increase in abundance of all microbial groups [phototrophic nanoflagellates, autotrophic dinoflagellates, bacteria, heterotrophic nanoflagellates (HNAN), heterotrophic microflagellates and ciliates] was significantly greater in the high N:Si treatment. Midway through the experiment, HNAN biovolume exceeded that of bacteria in the high N:Si treatment, indicating strong top-down grazing control. Heterotrophic microflagellate biovolume exceeded ciliate biovolume under both nutrient regimes. However, heterotrophic plankton failed to respond rapidly to increased diatom biomass. The heterotrophic:autotrophic biovolume ratio remained
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1485-1495
Number of pages11
JournalJ PLANKTON RES
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2003

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Keywords

  • PLANKTONIC COMMUNITIES
  • PHYTOPLANKTON BIOMASS
  • COPEPOD REPRODUCTION
  • MARINE DIATOMS
  • MISSISSIPPI RIVER
  • Marine & Freshwater Biology
  • LIMITED GROWTH
  • SILICON
  • ANNUAL CYCLE
  • Oceanography
  • NUTRIENT
  • FOOD QUALITY

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