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Trait-based analysis of subpolar North Atlantic phytoplankton and plastidic ciliate communities using automated flow cytometer

Trait-based analysis of subpolar North Atlantic phytoplankton and plastidic ciliate communities using automated flow cytometer
Trait-based analysis of subpolar North Atlantic phytoplankton and plastidic ciliate communities using automated flow cytometer

Plankton are an extremely diverse and polyphyletic group, exhibiting a large range in morphological and physiological traits. Here, we apply automated optical techniques, provided by the pulse‐shape recording automated flow cytometer—CytoSense—to investigate trait variability of phytoplankton and plastidic ciliates in Arctic and Atlantic waters of the subpolar North Atlantic. We used the bio‐optical descriptors derived from the CytoSense (light scattering [forward and sideward] and fluorescence [red, yellow/green and orange from chlorophyll a , degraded pigments, and phycobiliproteins, respectively]) and translated them into functional traits to demonstrate ecological trait variability along an environmental gradient. Cell size was the master trait varying in this study, with large photosynthetic microplankton (> 20 μ m in cell diameter), including diatoms as single cells and chains, as well as plastidic ciliates found in Arctic waters, while small‐sized phytoplankton groups, such as the picoeukaryotes (< 4 μ m) and the cyanobacteria Synechococcus were dominant in Atlantic waters. Morphological traits, such as chain/colony formation and structural complexity (i.e., cellular processes, setae, and internal vacuoles), appear to favor buoyancy in highly illuminated and stratified Arctic waters. In Atlantic waters, small cell size and spherical cell shape, in addition to photo‐physiological traits, such as high internal pigmentation, offer chromatic adaptation for survival in the low nutrient and dynamic mixing waters of the Atlantic Ocean. The use of automated techniques that quantify ecological traits holds exciting new opportunities to unravel linkages between the structure and function of plankton communities and marine ecosystems.

CytoSense, traits, phytoplankton
0024-3590
1763-1778
Fragoso, Glaucia
406a23cd-79a7-430b-9dc5-9b98676b7f0f
Poulton, Alex
14bf64a7-d617-4913-b882-e8495543e717
Pratt, Nicola
c94f98bd-897c-4853-bebd-be93b8aecc8a
Johnsen, Geir
5bf64ca2-09e5-4a16-a327-f37bd41592a1
Purdie, Duncan
18820b32-185a-467a-8019-01f245191cd8
Fragoso, Glaucia
406a23cd-79a7-430b-9dc5-9b98676b7f0f
Poulton, Alex
14bf64a7-d617-4913-b882-e8495543e717
Pratt, Nicola
c94f98bd-897c-4853-bebd-be93b8aecc8a
Johnsen, Geir
5bf64ca2-09e5-4a16-a327-f37bd41592a1
Purdie, Duncan
18820b32-185a-467a-8019-01f245191cd8

Fragoso, Glaucia, Poulton, Alex, Pratt, Nicola, Johnsen, Geir and Purdie, Duncan (2019) Trait-based analysis of subpolar North Atlantic phytoplankton and plastidic ciliate communities using automated flow cytometer. Limnology and Oceanography, 64 (4), 1763-1778. (doi:10.1002/lno.11189).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Plankton are an extremely diverse and polyphyletic group, exhibiting a large range in morphological and physiological traits. Here, we apply automated optical techniques, provided by the pulse‐shape recording automated flow cytometer—CytoSense—to investigate trait variability of phytoplankton and plastidic ciliates in Arctic and Atlantic waters of the subpolar North Atlantic. We used the bio‐optical descriptors derived from the CytoSense (light scattering [forward and sideward] and fluorescence [red, yellow/green and orange from chlorophyll a , degraded pigments, and phycobiliproteins, respectively]) and translated them into functional traits to demonstrate ecological trait variability along an environmental gradient. Cell size was the master trait varying in this study, with large photosynthetic microplankton (> 20 μ m in cell diameter), including diatoms as single cells and chains, as well as plastidic ciliates found in Arctic waters, while small‐sized phytoplankton groups, such as the picoeukaryotes (< 4 μ m) and the cyanobacteria Synechococcus were dominant in Atlantic waters. Morphological traits, such as chain/colony formation and structural complexity (i.e., cellular processes, setae, and internal vacuoles), appear to favor buoyancy in highly illuminated and stratified Arctic waters. In Atlantic waters, small cell size and spherical cell shape, in addition to photo‐physiological traits, such as high internal pigmentation, offer chromatic adaptation for survival in the low nutrient and dynamic mixing waters of the Atlantic Ocean. The use of automated techniques that quantify ecological traits holds exciting new opportunities to unravel linkages between the structure and function of plankton communities and marine ecosystems.

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Fragoso et al 2018_11apr - Accepted Manuscript
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Accepted/In Press date: 12 April 2019
e-pub ahead of print date: 12 May 2019
Published date: July 2019
Keywords: CytoSense, traits, phytoplankton

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 432744
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/432744
ISSN: 0024-3590
PURE UUID: 77d44fc8-2f1a-4edc-b732-318816444dc6

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Date deposited: 25 Jul 2019 16:30
Last modified: 06 Oct 2020 22:35

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