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Marine primary productivity is driven by a selection effect

Marine primary productivity is driven by a selection effect
Marine primary productivity is driven by a selection effect
The number of species of autotrophic communities can increase ecosystem productivity through species complementarity or through a selection effect which occurs when the biomass of the community approaches the monoculture biomass of the most productive species. Here we explore the effect of resource supply on marine primary productivity under the premise that the high local species richness of phytoplankton communities increases resource use through transient selection of productive species. Using concurrent measurements of phytoplankton community structure, nitrate fluxes into the euphotic zone, and productivity from a temperate coastal ecosystem, we find that observed productivities are best described by a population growth model in which the dominant species of the community approach their maximum growth rates. We interpret these results as evidence of species selection in communities containing a vast taxonomic repertory. The prevalence of selection effect was supported by open ocean data that show an increase in species dominance across a gradient of nutrient availability. These results highlight the way marine phytoplankton optimize resources and sustain world food stocks. We suggest that the maintenance of phytoplankton species richness is essential to sustain marine primary productivity since it guarantees the occurrence of highly productive species.
Marine phytoplankton, Primary productivity, Resource use, Selection effect, Species richness
2296-7745
Cermeño, Pedro
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Chouciño, Paloma
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Fernández-Castro, Bieito
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Figueiras, Francisco G.
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Marañón, Emilio
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Marrasé, Cèlia
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Mouriño-Carballido, Beatriz
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Pérez-Lorenzo, María
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Rodríguez-Ramos, Tamara
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Teixeira, Isabel G.
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Vallina, Sergio M.
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Cermeño, Pedro
c179b90c-98ed-48c9-9d0b-67ad75c971e5
Chouciño, Paloma
b0ebda43-f5f6-4c1a-a710-520be10023cd
Fernández-Castro, Bieito
8017e93c-d5ee-4bba-b443-9c72ca512d61
Figueiras, Francisco G.
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Marañón, Emilio
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Marrasé, Cèlia
cdd30b15-d756-45d7-8b3b-285c133b6bdf
Mouriño-Carballido, Beatriz
1bfd941d-9ec6-473f-94bd-bb6faac56fa5
Pérez-Lorenzo, María
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Rodríguez-Ramos, Tamara
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Teixeira, Isabel G.
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Vallina, Sergio M.
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Cermeño, Pedro, Chouciño, Paloma, Fernández-Castro, Bieito, Figueiras, Francisco G., Marañón, Emilio, Marrasé, Cèlia, Mouriño-Carballido, Beatriz, Pérez-Lorenzo, María, Rodríguez-Ramos, Tamara, Teixeira, Isabel G. and Vallina, Sergio M. (2016) Marine primary productivity is driven by a selection effect. Frontiers in Marine Science, 3 (SEP). (doi:10.3389/fmars.2016.00173).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The number of species of autotrophic communities can increase ecosystem productivity through species complementarity or through a selection effect which occurs when the biomass of the community approaches the monoculture biomass of the most productive species. Here we explore the effect of resource supply on marine primary productivity under the premise that the high local species richness of phytoplankton communities increases resource use through transient selection of productive species. Using concurrent measurements of phytoplankton community structure, nitrate fluxes into the euphotic zone, and productivity from a temperate coastal ecosystem, we find that observed productivities are best described by a population growth model in which the dominant species of the community approach their maximum growth rates. We interpret these results as evidence of species selection in communities containing a vast taxonomic repertory. The prevalence of selection effect was supported by open ocean data that show an increase in species dominance across a gradient of nutrient availability. These results highlight the way marine phytoplankton optimize resources and sustain world food stocks. We suggest that the maintenance of phytoplankton species richness is essential to sustain marine primary productivity since it guarantees the occurrence of highly productive species.

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Published date: 21 September 2016
Keywords: Marine phytoplankton, Primary productivity, Resource use, Selection effect, Species richness

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 453323
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/453323
ISSN: 2296-7745
PURE UUID: c0d1dcc8-8b58-4aa9-bb77-e00bd310f72a
ORCID for Bieito Fernández-Castro: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-7797-854X

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Date deposited: 12 Jan 2022 17:47
Last modified: 08 Jun 2022 01:59

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Contributors

Author: Pedro Cermeño
Author: Paloma Chouciño
Author: Francisco G. Figueiras
Author: Emilio Marañón
Author: Cèlia Marrasé
Author: Beatriz Mouriño-Carballido
Author: María Pérez-Lorenzo
Author: Tamara Rodríguez-Ramos
Author: Isabel G. Teixeira
Author: Sergio M. Vallina

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