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Latitudinal variation in virus-induced mortality of phytoplankton across the North Atlantic Ocean
Mojica, K.D.A.; Huisman, J.; Wilhelm, S.W.; Brussaard, C.P.D. (2015). Latitudinal variation in virus-induced mortality of phytoplankton across the North Atlantic Ocean, in: Mojica, K.D.A. Viral lysis of marine microbes in relation to vertical stratification. pp. 119-156
In: Mojica, K.D.A. (2015). Viral lysis of marine microbes in relation to vertical stratification. PhD Thesis. Universiteit van Amsterdam: Amsterdam. ISBN 978-94-91407-20-8. 247 pp. hdl.handle.net/11245/1.487499, more

Also published as
  • Mojica, K.D.A.; Huisman, J.; Wilhelm, S.W.; Brussaard, C.P.D. (2016). Latitudinal variation in virus-induced mortality of phytoplankton across the North Atlantic Ocean. ISME J. 10: 500-513. dx.doi.org/10.1038/ismej.2015.130, more

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Mojica, K.D.A., more
  • Huisman, J.
  • Wilhelm, S.W.
  • Brussaard, C.P.D., more

Abstract
    Viral lysis of phytoplankton constrains marine primary production, food web dynamics andbiogeochemical cycles in the ocean. Yet, little is known about the biogeographical distribution ofviral lysis rates across the global ocean. To address this, we investigated phytoplankton groupspecificviral lysis rates along a latitudinal gradient within the North Atlantic Ocean. The data showlarge-scale distribution patterns of different virus groups across the North Atlantic that areassociated with the biogeographical distributions of their potential microbial hosts. Average virusmediatedlysis rates of the picocyanobacteria Prochlorococcus and Synechococcus were lower thanthose of the picoeukaryotic and nanoeukaryotic phytoplankton (that is, 0.14 per day compared with0.19 and 0.23 per day, respectively). Total phytoplankton mortality (virus plus grazer-mediated) wascomparable to the gross growth rate, demonstrating high turnover rates of phytoplanktonpopulations. Virus-induced mortality was an important loss process at low and mid latitudes,whereas phytoplankton mortality was dominated by microzooplankton grazing at higher latitudes(456°N). This shift from a viral-lysis-dominated to a grazing-dominated phytoplankton communitywas associated with a decrease in temperature and salinity, and the decrease in viral lysis rates wasalso associated with increased vertical mixing at higher latitudes. Ocean-climate models predict thatsurface warming will lead to an expansion of the stratified and oligotrophic regions of the world’soceans. Our findings suggest that these future shifts in the regional climate of the ocean surface layerare likely to increase the contribution of viral lysis to phytoplankton mortality in the higher-latitudewaters of the North Atlantic, which may potentially reduce transfer of matter and energy up the foodchain and thus affect the capacity of the northern North Atlantic to act as a long-term sink for CO2.

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