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Phytoplankton photoacclimation and photoadaptation in response to environmental gradients in a shelf sea

Moore, C.M., Suggett, D.J., Hickman, A.E., Kim, Y.N., Tweddle, J.F., Sharples, J., Geider, R.J. and Holligan, P.M. (2006) Phytoplankton photoacclimation and photoadaptation in response to environmental gradients in a shelf sea Limnology and Oceanography, 51, (2), pp. 936-949.

Record type: Article


Variability in the photosynthetic performance of natural phytoplankton communities, due to both taxonomic composition and the physiological acclimation of these taxa to environmental conditions, was assessed at contrasting sites within a temperate shelf sea region. Physiological parameters relating to the structure of the photosystem II (PSII) antenna and processes downstream from PSII were evaluated using a combination of fast repetition rate fluorescence, oxygen flash yields, spectral fluorescence, and 14C photosynthesis versus irradiance measurements. Parameters relating to PSII antenna structure, specifically the functional absorption cross-section (sPSII) and the chlorophyll to PSII reaction center ratio, varied principally as a result of spatial (horizontal) taxonomic differences. Phenotypic plasticity in the size of the PSII light-harvesting antenna appeared to be limited. In contrast, parameters related to electron transport rates (ETRs) downstream of PSII, including the maximum ETR (1/tPSII), the chlorophyll-specific maximum rate of carbon fixation (P*max), and the light-saturation intensity (Ek), all decreased from the surface to the subsurface chlorophyll maximum (SCM) in stratified waters. The primary photoacclimation response to the vertical light gradient thus resulted in decreasing light-saturated carbon fixation per reaction center with increasing depth. Increases in the ratio of PSII reaction centers to carbon fixation capacity thus dominated the phenotypic response to decreased irradiance within the SCM. Perhaps counterintuitively, phytoplankton populations within fully mixed water columns, characterized by low mean irradiance, were acclimated or adapted to relatively high irradiance.

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Published date: March 2006


Local EPrints ID: 28701
ISSN: 0024-3590
PURE UUID: da4f97ac-4573-4c15-8a0f-6e95d5b8e4ef
ORCID for A.E. Hickman: ORCID iD

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Date deposited: 04 May 2006
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 16:00

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Author: C.M. Moore
Author: D.J. Suggett
Author: A.E. Hickman ORCID iD
Author: Y.N. Kim
Author: J.F. Tweddle
Author: J. Sharples
Author: R.J. Geider
Author: P.M. Holligan

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