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Title: Molecular underpinnings and biogeochemical consequences of enhanced diatom growth in a warming Southern Ocean
The Southern Ocean (SO) harbors some of the most intense phytoplankton blooms on Earth. Changes in temperature and iron availability are expected to alter the intensity of SO phytoplankton blooms, but little is known about how these changes will influence community composition and downstream biogeochemical processes. We performed light-saturated experimental manipulations on surface ocean microbial communities from McMurdo Sound in the Ross Sea to examine the effects of increased iron availability (+2 nM) and warming (+3 and +6 °C) on nutrient uptake, as well as the growth and transcriptional responses of two dominant diatoms, Fragilariopsis and Pseudo-nitzschia . We found that community nutrient uptake and primary productivity were elevated under both warming conditions without iron addition (relative to ambient −0.5 °C). This effect was greater than additive under concurrent iron addition and warming. Pseudo-nitzschia became more abundant under warming without added iron (especially at 6 °C), while Fragilariopsis only became more abundant under warming in the iron-added treatments. We attribute the apparent advantage Pseudo-nitzschia shows under warming to up-regulation of iron-conserving photosynthetic processes, utilization of iron-economic nitrogen assimilation mechanisms, and increased iron uptake and storage. These data identify important molecular and physiological differences between dominant diatom groups and add to more » the growing body of evidence for Pseudo-nitzschia ’s increasingly important role in warming SO ecosystems. This study also suggests that temperature-driven shifts in SO phytoplankton assemblages may increase utilization of the vast pool of excess nutrients in iron-limited SO surface waters and thereby influence global nutrient distribution and carbon cycling. « less
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Award ID(s):
1638804 1851222 1756884 1043671
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Journal Name:
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
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Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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