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Nutrient limitation suppresses the temperature dependence of phytoplankton metabolic rates

AutorMarañón, Emilio; Lorenzo, María P.; Cermeño, Pedro ; Mouriño-Carballido, Beatriz
Fecha de publicaciónabr-2018
EditorInternational Society for Microbial Ecology
CitaciónISME Journal 12: 1836-1845 (2018)
ResumenClimate warming has the potential to alter ecosystem function through temperature-dependent changes in individual metabolic rates. The temperature sensitivity of phytoplankton metabolism is especially relevant, since these microorganisms sustain marine food webs and are major drivers of biogeochemical cycling. Phytoplankton metabolic rates increase with temperature when nutrients are abundant, but it is unknown if the same pattern applies under nutrient-limited growth conditions, which prevail over most of the ocean. Here we use continuous cultures of three cosmopolitan and biogeochemically relevant species (Synechococcus sp., Skeletonema costatum and Emiliania huxleyi) to determine the temperature dependence (activation energy, Ea) of metabolism under different degrees of nitrogen (N) limitation. We show that both CO2 fixation and respiration rates increase with N supply but are largely insensitive to temperature. Ea of photosynthesis (0.11 ± 0.06 eV, mean ± SE) and respiration (0.04 ± 0.17 eV) under N-limited growth is significantly smaller than Ea of growth rate under nutrient-replete conditions (0.77 ± 0.06 eV). The reduced temperature dependence of metabolic rates under nutrient limitation can be explained in terms of enzyme kinetics, because both maximum reaction rates and half-saturation constants increase with temperature. Our results suggest that the direct, stimulating effect of rising temperatures upon phytoplankton metabolic rates will be circumscribed to ecosystems with high-nutrient availability
Descripción10 pages, 5 figures, supplementary material https://doi.org/10.1038/s41396-018-0105-1
Versión del editorhttps://doi.org/10.1038/s41396-018-0105-1
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/167054
DOI10.1038/s41396-018-0105-1
ISSN1751-7362
E-ISSN1751-7370
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