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UV radiation and phosphorus interact to influence the biochemical composition of phytoplankton

Other TitlesEffects of UV radiation and phosphorus on phytoplankton
AuthorsVillar-Argaiz, Manuel; Medina-Sánchez, J. M.; Bullejos, Francisco J.; Delgado-Molina, José Antonio; Ruiz, Olga ; Navarro, Juan Carlos ; Carrillo, Presentación
KeywordsFood quality
Essential fatty acids
UV radiation
Issue DateJun-2009
PublisherBlackwell Publishing
CitationFreshwater Biology 54(6): 1233-1245 (2009)
Abstract1. Numerous laboratory studies have shown that food quality is suboptimal for zooplankton growth. However, little is known about how food quality is affected by the interaction of potential global change factors in natural conditions. Using field enclosures in a high altitude Spanish lake, seston was exposed to increasing phosphorus (P) concentrations in the absence and presence of UV radiation (UVR) to test the hypothesis that interactions between these factors affected the biochemical and stoichiometric composition of seston in ways not easily predicted from studies of single factors. 2. Phosphorus enrichment increased the content of total fatty acids (TFA), omega3-polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega3-PUFA) and chlorophyll-a : carbon (Chl-a : C) and C : N ratios in seston. The pronounced increase in omega3-PUFA was largely explained by the enhancement of 18:3n-3 (α-linolenic acid). In contrast, P-enrichment lowered the content of highly unsaturated fatty acids (HUFA), the HUFA : PUFA ratio and, at high P loads, seston C : P ratio. Although phytoplankton assemblages dominated by Chlorophytes were not rich in HUFA, seston in the control had substantially higher 20:4n-6 (arachidonic acid, ARA) content (79% of HUFA) than did P-enriched enclosures. 3. The UVR increased the content of omega3-PUFA and TFA in seston at the two ends of the trophic gradient generated at ambient and high concentrations of P, but decreased seston C : P and HUFA at all points on this gradient. ARA was not detected in the presence of UVR. 4. The interaction between P and UVR was significant for seston HUFA and C : P ratios, indicating that the effect of UVR in reducing HUFA (decreased food quality) and C : P ratios (enhanced food quality) was most pronounced at the low nutrient concentrations characteristic of oligotrophic conditions and disappeared as P increased. Therefore, any future increase in UVR fluxes will probably affect most strongly the food quality of algae inhabiting oligotrophic pristine waters although, at least in the Mediterranean region, these effects could be offset by greater deposition of P from the atmosphere.
Description33 p., 4 tablas y bibliografía
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2427.2009.02170.x
Appears in Collections:(IATS) Artículos
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