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Title: Thermal performance of marine diatoms under contrasting nitrate availability
Abstract Environmental factors that interact with increasing temperature under the ongoing global warming are an urgent issue determining marine phytoplankton’s performance. Previous studies showed that nutrient limitation alters phytoplankton responses to temperature and may lower their temperature optima (Topt), making them more susceptible to high temperatures. The generality of this relationship is unknown, as very few species were tested. Here we investigated how growth rate depended on temperature at two contrasting nitrogen concentrations in six marine diatoms isolated from different thermal environments, including the tropics. Low nitrate had a significant effect on thermal performance in five of the six species. The effect size was larger around the optimum temperature for growth, resulting in flattened thermal performance curves but no shift in Topt. While that trend is independent of the thermal regime from which each species was isolated, the implications for the phytoplankton response to global warming may be region dependent.
Moisander, Pia
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Journal of Plankton Research
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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