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Title: Phytoplankton responses to changing temperature and nutrient availability are consistent across the tropical and subtropical Atlantic
Authors: Fernández-González, Cristina
Tarran, Glen A.
Schuback, Nina
Woodward, E. Malcolm S.
Arístegui Ruiz, Javier 
Marañón, Emilio
UNESCO Clasification: 251001 Oceanografía biológica
2213 Termodinámica
2414 Microbiología
Keywords: Microbial biooceanography
Microbial ecology
Issue Date: 2022
Project: Tropical and South Atlantic - climate-based marine ecosystem prediction for sustainable management 
Journal: Communications Biology 
Abstract: Temperature and nutrient supply interactively control phytoplankton growth and productivity, yet the role of these drivers together still has not been determined experimentally over large spatial scales in the oligotrophic ocean. We conducted four microcosm experiments in the tropical and subtropical Atlantic (29°N-27°S) in which surface plankton assemblages were exposed to all combinations of three temperatures (in situ, 3 °C warming and 3 °C cooling) and two nutrient treatments (unamended and enrichment with nitrogen and phosphorus). We found that chlorophyll a concentration and the biomass of picophytoplankton consistently increase in response to nutrient addition, whereas changes in temperature have a smaller and more variable effect. Nutrient enrichment leads to increased picoeukaryote abundance, depressed Prochlorococcus abundance, and increased contribution of small nanophytoplankton to total biomass. Warming and nutrient addition synergistically stimulate light-harvesting capacity, and accordingly the largest biomass response is observed in the warmed, nutrient-enriched treatment at the warmest and least oligotrophic location (12.7°N). While moderate nutrient increases have a much larger impact than varying temperature upon the growth and community structure of tropical phytoplankton, ocean warming may increase their ability to exploit events of enhanced nutrient availability.
ISSN: 2399-3642
DOI: 10.1038/s42003-022-03971-z
Source: Communications Biology [EISSN 2399-3642], v. 5 (1), (Diciembre 2022)
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