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Taxonomic and Environmental Variability in the Elemental Composition and Stoichiometry of Individual Dinoflagellate and Diatom Cells from the NW Mediterranean Sea

AutorSegura i Noguera, María del Mar ; Blasco, Dolors ; Fortuño Alós, José Manuel
Fecha de publicaciónabr-2016
EditorPublic Library of Science
CitaciónPLoS ONE 11(4): e0154050 (2016)
ResumenHere we present, for the first time, the elemental concentration, including C, N and O, of single phytoplankton cells collected from the sea. Plankton elemental concentration and stoichiometry are key variables in phytoplankton ecophysiology and ocean biogeochemistry, and are used to link cells and ecosystems. However, most field studies rely on bulk techniques that overestimate carbon and nitrogen because the samples include organic matter other than plankton organisms. Here we used X-ray microanalysis (XRMA), a technique that, unlike bulk analyses, gives simultaneous quotas of C, N, O, Mg, Si, P, and S, in single-cell organisms that can be collected directly from the sea. We analysed the elemental composition of dinoflagellates and diatoms (largely Chaetoceros spp.) collected from different sites of the Catalan coast (NW Mediterranean Sea). As expected, a lower C content is found in our cells compared to historical values of cultured cells. Our results indicate that, except for Si and O in diatoms, the mass of all elements is not a constant fraction of cell volume but rather decreases with increasing cell volume. Also, diatoms are significantly less dense in all the measured elements, except Si, compared to dinoflagellates. The N:P ratio of both groups is higher than the Redfield ratio, as it is the N:P nutrient ratio in deep NW Mediterranean Sea waters (N:P = 20–23). The results suggest that the P requirement is highest for bacterioplankton, followed by dinoflagellates, and lowest for diatoms, giving them a clear ecological advantage in P-limited environments like the Mediterranean Sea. Finally, the P concentration of cells of the same genera but growing under different nutrient conditions was the same, suggesting that the P quota of these cells is at a critical level. Our results indicate that XRMA is an accurate technique to determine single cell elemental quotas and derived conversion factors used to understand and model ocean biogeochemical cycles
Descripción26 pages, 7 figures, 4 tables, supporting information http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0154050.s001 http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0154050.s002 http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0154050.s003
Versión del editorhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0154050
Identificadoresdoi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0154050
issn: 1932-6203
e-issn: 1932-6203
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