The influence of the balance of inorganic & organic nitrogen on microbial food web trophic dynamics.

Keith Davidson, Linda C Gilpin, Eric Fouilland, Mark Hart, Elaine Mitchell, I Alvarez-Calleja, C Laurent, Axel Miller, Ray Leakey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

A nutrient-manipulation mesocosm study was conducted in Norwegian coastal waters to determine the effect on a nitrogen-limited microbial food web of changes in the relative concentrations of dissolved organic and inorganic nitrogen ( N). Four replicated treatments were studied: no N addition, inorganic N, organic N, or a 50 : 50 mix of inorganic and organic N. Comprehensive abundance, biomass, and rate measurements were made over the 20-d experiment. The form of N available influenced species composition, succession, and the efficiency of carbon ( C) incorporation. Inorganic N generated a bloom of the diatom Leptocylindrus danicus, even though silicon concentrations were below 1 mu mol L-1. The gamma-proteobacteria initially competed effectively with diatoms for inorganic N, exhibiting high productivity and escaping grazing control. Organic N, when available alone, was utilized more slowly by the microbial community, with diatom growth, fueled by regenerated N, achieving a lower peak abundance. A more diverse diatom species assemblage was also evident. The gamma-proteobacteria were less prevalent and net bacterial productivity was initially lower when the N source was organic and, in contrast to the response following inorganic N addition, the bacterial community was initially grazer controlled. A rapid succession of heterotrophic grazers occurred but with differences in species and their contribution to biomass between treatments. The efficiency of C-biomass production was lower when the N source was purely organic. However, when both inorganic and organic N were available, biomass yield was greater than the mean of the two single N source treatments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2147-2163
Number of pages17
JournalLIMNOL OCEANOGR
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Keywords

  • NORTH-SEA
  • NATURAL ASSEMBLAGES
  • CARBON
  • BACTERIOPLANKTON
  • NUTRIENT ADDITION
  • Limnology
  • Oceanography
  • MARINE-BACTERIA
  • ATMOSPHERIC INPUTS
  • COASTAL WATERS
  • DISSOLVED NITROGEN
  • PHYTOPLANKTON

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