Nutrient consumption and chain tuning in diatoms exposed to storm-like turbulence

Abstract : Current information on the response of phytoplankton to turbulence is linked to cell size and nutrient availability. Diatoms are considered to be favored by mixing as dissolved nutrients are more easily accessible for non-motile cells. We investigated how diatoms exploit microscale turbulence under nutrient repletion and depletion conditions. Here, we show that the chain-forming diatom Chaetoceros decipiens, continues to take up phosphorus and carbon even when silicon is depleted during turbulence. Our findings indicate that upon silica depletion, during turbulence, chain spectra of C. decipiens remained unchanged. We show here that longer chains are maintained during turbulence upon silica depletion whereas under still conditions, shorter chains are enriched. We interpret this as a sign of good physiological state leading to a delay of culture senescence. Our results show that C. decipiens senses and responds to turbulence both in nutrient repletion and depletion. This response is noteworthy due to the small size of the species. The coupling between turbulence and biological response that we depict here may have significant ecological implications. Considering the predicted increase of storms in Northern latitudes this response might modify community structure and succession. Our results partly corroborate Margalef's mandala and provide additional explanations for that conceptualization.
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Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group, 2017, 7, pp.1828. 〈10.1038/s41598-017-02084-6〉
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Gianluca Dell’aquila, Maria I. Ferrante, Marco Gherardi, Marco Cosentino Lagomarsino, Maurizio Ribera D’alcalà, et al.. Nutrient consumption and chain tuning in diatoms exposed to storm-like turbulence. Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group, 2017, 7, pp.1828. 〈10.1038/s41598-017-02084-6〉. 〈hal-01534460〉

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