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New insights on the dominance of cryptophytes in Antarctic coastal waters: A case study in Gerlache Strait

New insights on the dominance of cryptophytes in Antarctic coastal waters: A case study in Gerlache Strait
New insights on the dominance of cryptophytes in Antarctic coastal waters: A case study in Gerlache Strait
Changes in phytoplankton composition from large diatoms to small cryptophytes and their implications to the food web have been previously associated with rapid warming of surface waters in the western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP). However, ecological and physiological attributes that favor dominance of these flagellates in the region have not been fully explored. The overall aim of this work was to characterize the phytoplankton pigments and assemblages in relation to environmental conditions during three successive summer cruises (2013, 2014 and 2015) in the Gerlache Strait − a coastal area in the northern WAP. Data on phytoplankton (through HPLC/CHEMTAX pigment analysis) and associated physical (water column structure) and chemical (macronutrients) parameters were determined. Cryptophytes were conspicuously found in shallow mixed layers, under stratified conditions, as the main contributors to total phytoplankton biomass. Their greatest contributions were associated with warmer surface waters at the northwestern sector of the strait. Other phytoplankton groups (Phaeocystis antarctica in 2013 and small diatoms in both 2014 and 2015) were also important components. Photoprotective carotenoids (mainly alloxanthin), with an important role in preventing photodamage caused by excess light, were closely linked with the dominance of cryptophytes at surface layers. The results of this study suggest that the prevalence of cryptophytes in WAP coastal waters can be, to a great extent, due to a particular ability of those small flagellates to successfully grow in highly illuminated conditions in shallow upper mixed layers and strong water column stratification.
0967-0645
Mendes, Carlos Rafael Borges
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Tavano, Virginia Maria
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Dotto, Tiago Segabinazzi
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Kerr, Rodrigo
d1a51edf-f35d-49aa-9882-54847896031d
De Souza, Márcio Silva
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Garcia, Carlos Alberto Eiras
cadd1c0c-3909-423f-8af1-6c3ef702cfd5
Secchi, Eduardo Resende
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Mendes, Carlos Rafael Borges
570f09e6-fe00-4da5-8f1e-791381e7ac58
Tavano, Virginia Maria
2e0ae46b-11eb-4a59-bd3f-27a32619d981
Dotto, Tiago Segabinazzi
437639c6-9c67-4c83-ace3-bb490a2f44d7
Kerr, Rodrigo
d1a51edf-f35d-49aa-9882-54847896031d
De Souza, Márcio Silva
d732b3e9-1101-484f-8e70-4b4482c82a32
Garcia, Carlos Alberto Eiras
cadd1c0c-3909-423f-8af1-6c3ef702cfd5
Secchi, Eduardo Resende
8436b672-6e7c-4292-8be8-3edb77b84e4b

Mendes, Carlos Rafael Borges, Tavano, Virginia Maria, Dotto, Tiago Segabinazzi, Kerr, Rodrigo, De Souza, Márcio Silva, Garcia, Carlos Alberto Eiras and Secchi, Eduardo Resende (2017) New insights on the dominance of cryptophytes in Antarctic coastal waters: A case study in Gerlache Strait. Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography. (doi:10.1016/j.dsr2.2017.02.010).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Changes in phytoplankton composition from large diatoms to small cryptophytes and their implications to the food web have been previously associated with rapid warming of surface waters in the western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP). However, ecological and physiological attributes that favor dominance of these flagellates in the region have not been fully explored. The overall aim of this work was to characterize the phytoplankton pigments and assemblages in relation to environmental conditions during three successive summer cruises (2013, 2014 and 2015) in the Gerlache Strait − a coastal area in the northern WAP. Data on phytoplankton (through HPLC/CHEMTAX pigment analysis) and associated physical (water column structure) and chemical (macronutrients) parameters were determined. Cryptophytes were conspicuously found in shallow mixed layers, under stratified conditions, as the main contributors to total phytoplankton biomass. Their greatest contributions were associated with warmer surface waters at the northwestern sector of the strait. Other phytoplankton groups (Phaeocystis antarctica in 2013 and small diatoms in both 2014 and 2015) were also important components. Photoprotective carotenoids (mainly alloxanthin), with an important role in preventing photodamage caused by excess light, were closely linked with the dominance of cryptophytes at surface layers. The results of this study suggest that the prevalence of cryptophytes in WAP coastal waters can be, to a great extent, due to a particular ability of those small flagellates to successfully grow in highly illuminated conditions in shallow upper mixed layers and strong water column stratification.

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e-pub ahead of print date: 1 February 2017

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 416818
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/416818
ISSN: 0967-0645
PURE UUID: db7fa07c-91f3-4064-b1c5-69f2fe600de8

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Date deposited: 11 Jan 2018 17:30
Last modified: 27 Apr 2022 04:25

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Contributors

Author: Carlos Rafael Borges Mendes
Author: Virginia Maria Tavano
Author: Tiago Segabinazzi Dotto
Author: Rodrigo Kerr
Author: Márcio Silva De Souza
Author: Carlos Alberto Eiras Garcia
Author: Eduardo Resende Secchi

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