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Physiological responses of three species of marine pico-phytoplankton to ammonium, phosphate, iron and light limitation
Timmermans, K.R.; van der Wagt, B.; Veldhuis, M.J.W.; Maatman, A.; de Baar, H.J.W. (2005). Physiological responses of three species of marine pico-phytoplankton to ammonium, phosphate, iron and light limitation. J. Sea Res. 53(Spec. Issue 1-2): 109-120. dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.seares.2004.05.003
In: Journal of Sea Research. Elsevier/Netherlands Institute for Sea Research: Amsterdam; Den Burg. ISSN 1385-1101, more
Peer reviewed article  

Also published as
  • Timmermans, K.R.; van der Wagt, B.; Veldhuis, M.J.W.; Maatman, A.; de Baar, H.J.W. (2005). Physiological responses of three species of marine pico-phytoplankton to ammonium, phosphate, iron and light limitation, in: Veldhuis, M.J.W. (Ed.) Iron resources and oceanic nutrients: advancement of global environmental simulations. Journal of Sea Research, 53(1-2): pp. 109-120, more

Available in Authors 

Keywords
    Ammonium; Ecophysiology; Iron; Light effects; Limiting factors; Phosphates; Phytoplankton; Picoplankton; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Timmermans, K.R.
  • van der Wagt, B.
  • Veldhuis, M.J.W.
  • Maatman, A.
  • de Baar, H.J.W.

Abstract
    Experiments were conducted with three species of marine pico-phytoplankton: Synechococcus sp. (CCMP 839), Pelagomonas calceolata (CCMP 1756) and Prasinomonas capsulatus (CCMP 1617) in order to collect physiological parameters for pico-phytoplankton to be utilised in Ocean Biogeochemical Climate Models. The main parameters to follow the effects of ammonium, phosphate, iron and light limitation were cell growth rates (μ), half saturation constants for growth (Km), N, P and Fe quota (per cell or per mol C), and photochemical quantum efficiency (Fv/Fm). The nitrate and phosphate limitation experiments demonstrated that the small phytoplankton species could grow at low N and P concentrations. Km values were in the micro-molar (NH4+) and sub-micro-molar (PO43−) range. N and P quota were in the femto-molar range per cell and varied from nutrient-deplete to nutrient-replete conditions. Fv/Fm values were only adversely affected at the lowest N and P concentrations in these experiments. In the Fe limitation experiments, it was shown that all three species were adversely affected only at extremely low Fe concentrations. Iron chelating agents had to be added to force the species in Fe limitation till ultimately growth stopped. Km values with respect to dissolved Fe were in the femto-molar range. Fe quota were in the low zepto-molar (10−21 M) range per cell, and varied considerably from Fe limiting to Fe replete growth conditions. Fv/Fm values diminished only at the lowest iron concentrations. In the light limitation experiments, growth rates and photochemical quantum efficiencies were adversely affected only at irradiance levels below 10 μmol photons m−2 s−1. These results indicate that the pico-phytoplankton species will hardly ever be completely stopped in their growth by NH4+, PO43−, Fe or light (separately) under natural conditions.

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