Plasticity in algal stoichiometry: experimental evidence of a temperature-induced shift in optimal supply N:P ratio

Jan Erik Thrane*, Dag O. Hessen, Tom Andersen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

There is growing empirical and theoretical evidence for a positive relationship between the nitrogen (N)-to-phosphorus (P) ratio of phytoplankton and temperature. However, few have tested how the optimal supply N:P ratio; the dissolved N:P ratio at which nutrient limitation switches from one element to the other, responds to temperature. In this study, we conducted a factorial experiment crossing 12 temperature levels with 8 supply N:P ratios to determine the effect of temperature acclimation on the optimal supply N:P ratio of the microalgae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. We found that the optimal supply N:P increased in a sigmoidal manner from 26.5 to 36.5 (atomic ratio) over a temperature gradient spanning from ∼10 to 18°C, with the steepest change around 15°C. This result is in accordance with trends observed for cellular and seston N:P ratios, and indicates that phytoplankton populations may be shifted toward N-limitation in a scenario of warmer waters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1346–1354
Number of pages9
JournalLimnology and Oceanography
Volume62
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2017. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

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