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Dimensions of marine phytoplankton diversity

Dimensions of marine phytoplankton diversity
Dimensions of marine phytoplankton diversity
Biodiversity of phytoplankton is important for ecosystem stability and marine biogeochemistry. However, the large-scale patterns of diversity are not well understood and are often poorly characterized in terms of statistical relationships with factors such as latitude, temperature and productivity. Here we use ecological theory and a global trait-based ecosystem model to provide mechanistic understanding of patterns of phytoplankton diversity. Our study suggests that phytoplankton diversity across three dimensions of trait space (size, biogeochemical function and thermal tolerance) is controlled by disparate combinations of drivers: the supply rate of the limiting resource, the imbalance in different resource supplies relative to competing phytoplankton demands, size-selective grazing and transport by the moving ocean. Using sensitivity studies we show that each dimension of diversity is controlled by different drivers. Models including only one (or two) of the trait dimensions will have different patterns of diversity than one which incorporates another trait dimension. We use the results of our model exploration to infer the controls on the diversity patterns derived from field observations along meridional transects in the Atlantic and to explain why different taxa and size classes have differing patterns.
1726-4170
609-634
Dutkiewicz, Stephanie
a704ddd3-bd6c-4f4a-ba0c-f6420c9c3b3b
Cermeno, Pedro
1f81b602-2f69-4155-a789-b28db09037a5
Jahn, Oliver
bb2ec4f7-1c21-48cd-804b-4c8039609e44
Follows, Michael J.
12c723bc-f2f8-43f4-a309-bff6885b9c7c
Hickman, Anna E.
a99786c6-65e6-48c8-8b58-0d3b5608be92
Taniguchi, Darcy A. A.
fa4c0e77-4269-4b34-9297-0c22e31c1495
Ward, Ben A.
9063af30-e344-4626-9470-8db7c1543d05
Dutkiewicz, Stephanie
a704ddd3-bd6c-4f4a-ba0c-f6420c9c3b3b
Cermeno, Pedro
1f81b602-2f69-4155-a789-b28db09037a5
Jahn, Oliver
bb2ec4f7-1c21-48cd-804b-4c8039609e44
Follows, Michael J.
12c723bc-f2f8-43f4-a309-bff6885b9c7c
Hickman, Anna E.
a99786c6-65e6-48c8-8b58-0d3b5608be92
Taniguchi, Darcy A. A.
fa4c0e77-4269-4b34-9297-0c22e31c1495
Ward, Ben A.
9063af30-e344-4626-9470-8db7c1543d05

Dutkiewicz, Stephanie, Cermeno, Pedro, Jahn, Oliver, Follows, Michael J., Hickman, Anna E., Taniguchi, Darcy A. A. and Ward, Ben A. (2020) Dimensions of marine phytoplankton diversity. Biogeosciences, 17 (3), 609-634. (doi:10.5194/bg-17-609-2020).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Biodiversity of phytoplankton is important for ecosystem stability and marine biogeochemistry. However, the large-scale patterns of diversity are not well understood and are often poorly characterized in terms of statistical relationships with factors such as latitude, temperature and productivity. Here we use ecological theory and a global trait-based ecosystem model to provide mechanistic understanding of patterns of phytoplankton diversity. Our study suggests that phytoplankton diversity across three dimensions of trait space (size, biogeochemical function and thermal tolerance) is controlled by disparate combinations of drivers: the supply rate of the limiting resource, the imbalance in different resource supplies relative to competing phytoplankton demands, size-selective grazing and transport by the moving ocean. Using sensitivity studies we show that each dimension of diversity is controlled by different drivers. Models including only one (or two) of the trait dimensions will have different patterns of diversity than one which incorporates another trait dimension. We use the results of our model exploration to infer the controls on the diversity patterns derived from field observations along meridional transects in the Atlantic and to explain why different taxa and size classes have differing patterns.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 14 January 2020
e-pub ahead of print date: 7 February 2020

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 438176
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/438176
ISSN: 1726-4170
PURE UUID: 2dd5a24b-2648-4826-83a4-c19e3ff9da2a
ORCID for Anna E. Hickman: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-2774-3934

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 03 Mar 2020 17:46
Last modified: 26 Nov 2021 02:58

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Contributors

Author: Stephanie Dutkiewicz
Author: Pedro Cermeno
Author: Oliver Jahn
Author: Michael J. Follows
Author: Anna E. Hickman ORCID iD
Author: Darcy A. A. Taniguchi
Author: Ben A. Ward

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