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On the roles of cell size and trophic strategy in North Atlantic diatom and dinoflagellate communities

On the roles of cell size and trophic strategy in North Atlantic diatom and dinoflagellate communities
On the roles of cell size and trophic strategy in North Atlantic diatom and dinoflagellate communities
We have examined the inter‐ and intra‐group seasonal succession of 113 diatom and dinoflagellate taxa, as surveyed by the Continuous Plankton Recorder (CPR) in the North Atlantic, by grouping taxa according to two key functional traits: cell size (µg C cell−1) and trophic strategy (photoautotrophy, mixotrophy, or heterotrophy). Mixotrophic dinoflagellates follow photoautotrophic diatoms but precede their obligate heterotrophic counterparts in the succession because of the relative advantages afforded by photosynthesizing when light and nutrients are available in spring. The mean cell size of the sampled diatoms is smallest in the summer, likely because of the higher specific nutrient affinity of smaller relative to larger cells. Contrastingly, we hypothesize that mixotrophy diminishes the size selection based on nutrient limitation and accounts for the lack of a seasonal size shift among surveyed dinoflagellates. Relatively small, heterotrophic dinoflagellates (µg C cell−1 < 10−3) peak after other, larger dinoflagellates, in part because of the increased abundance of their small prey during nutrient‐deplete summer months. The largest surveyed diatoms (µg C cell−1 > 10−2) bloom later than others, and we hypothesize that this may be because of their relatively slow maximum potential growth rates and high internal nutrient storage, as well as to the slower predation of these larger cells. The new trait database and analysis presented here helps translate the taxonomic information of the CPR survey into metrics that can be directly compared with trait‐based models.
0024-3590
254-266
Barton, Andrew D.
7ca404e5-783a-47d5-bc18-3a6c47001b20
Finkel, Zoe V.
de3b50d6-4748-42bc-87e6-dfc40a7b785f
Ward, Ben A.
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Johns, David G.
e14bdb16-71b4-4e61-b5fe-da6c75486489
Follows, Michael J.
12c723bc-f2f8-43f4-a309-bff6885b9c7c
Barton, Andrew D.
7ca404e5-783a-47d5-bc18-3a6c47001b20
Finkel, Zoe V.
de3b50d6-4748-42bc-87e6-dfc40a7b785f
Ward, Ben A.
9063af30-e344-4626-9470-8db7c1543d05
Johns, David G.
e14bdb16-71b4-4e61-b5fe-da6c75486489
Follows, Michael J.
12c723bc-f2f8-43f4-a309-bff6885b9c7c

Barton, Andrew D., Finkel, Zoe V., Ward, Ben A., Johns, David G. and Follows, Michael J. (2013) On the roles of cell size and trophic strategy in North Atlantic diatom and dinoflagellate communities. Limnology and Oceanography, 58 (1), 254-266. (doi:10.4319/lo.2013.58.1.0254).

Record type: Article

Abstract

We have examined the inter‐ and intra‐group seasonal succession of 113 diatom and dinoflagellate taxa, as surveyed by the Continuous Plankton Recorder (CPR) in the North Atlantic, by grouping taxa according to two key functional traits: cell size (µg C cell−1) and trophic strategy (photoautotrophy, mixotrophy, or heterotrophy). Mixotrophic dinoflagellates follow photoautotrophic diatoms but precede their obligate heterotrophic counterparts in the succession because of the relative advantages afforded by photosynthesizing when light and nutrients are available in spring. The mean cell size of the sampled diatoms is smallest in the summer, likely because of the higher specific nutrient affinity of smaller relative to larger cells. Contrastingly, we hypothesize that mixotrophy diminishes the size selection based on nutrient limitation and accounts for the lack of a seasonal size shift among surveyed dinoflagellates. Relatively small, heterotrophic dinoflagellates (µg C cell−1 < 10−3) peak after other, larger dinoflagellates, in part because of the increased abundance of their small prey during nutrient‐deplete summer months. The largest surveyed diatoms (µg C cell−1 > 10−2) bloom later than others, and we hypothesize that this may be because of their relatively slow maximum potential growth rates and high internal nutrient storage, as well as to the slower predation of these larger cells. The new trait database and analysis presented here helps translate the taxonomic information of the CPR survey into metrics that can be directly compared with trait‐based models.

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Published date: January 2013

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Local EPrints ID: 417008
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/417008
ISSN: 0024-3590
PURE UUID: eb50c2ce-3754-492a-9ef5-47cbcaf75461

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Date deposited: 17 Jan 2018 17:30
Last modified: 18 Oct 2018 16:30

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Contributors

Author: Andrew D. Barton
Author: Zoe V. Finkel
Author: Ben A. Ward
Author: David G. Johns
Author: Michael J. Follows

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