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Survival mechanisms of phytoplankton in conditions of stratification induced deprivation of orthophosphate: Northern Adriatic case study

Ivančić, Ingrid; Godrijan, Jelena; Pfannkuchen, Martin; Marić, Daniela; Gašparović, Blaženka; Đakovac, Tamara; Najdek, Mirjana (2012) Survival mechanisms of phytoplankton in conditions of stratification induced deprivation of orthophosphate: Northern Adriatic case study. Limnology and oceanography, 57 (6). pp. 1721-1731. ISSN 0024-3590

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Abstract

Phytoplankton abundance in the northern Adriatic during the summer 2008 indicated that the system was highly productive, in spite of low orthophosphate (PO4) concentrations. Mechanisms by which phytoplankton adapted to PO4 deprivation during the summer stratification were studied. In upper, more productive waters phytoplankton induced high alkaline phosphatase activity (APA) to obtain phosphorus from the dissolved organic pool, and the P turnover time mediated by phytoplankton APA was very short (2 min-1.5 h). High affinity enzymatic activity combined with high hydrolysis rates enabled metabolic flexibility to the phytoplankton in this heterogeneous and fluctuating environment. Another possible mechanism of adaptation to the PO4 deficit during the summer was a shift towards smaller cells. The smaller nanophytoplankton, supported by higher surface:volume ratios, is presumably able to produce more alkaline phosphatase, an exoenzyme bound to the cell surface. Progressive decrease of large cells and increase of smaller cells in the phytoplankton community during summer supported this hypothesis. In upper waters with low PO4 concentrations, phytoplankton reduced their P demand by a preferential synthesis of non phospholipids. In bottom waters phytoplankton abundance was markedly lower than in upper waters and growth was probably light limited. In these deeper waters with higher PO4 concentrations, phytoplankton did not use APA to obtain phosphorus and able to synthesize more phospholipids. In deeper waters growth of bigger cells was favored.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: APA ; phytoplankton ; lipids
Subjects: NATURAL SCIENCES > Interdisciplinary Natural Sciences > Marine Science
Divisions: Center for Marine Research
Depositing User: Blaženka Gašparović
Date Deposited: 22 May 2018 08:28
Last Modified: 22 May 2018 08:28
URI: http://fulir.irb.hr/id/eprint/4054
DOI: 10.4319/lo.2012.57.6.1721

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