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Plankton responses to ocean acidification: the role of nutrient limitation

Alvarez-Fernandez, S, Bach, LT ORCID: 0000-0003-0202-3671, Taucher, J, Riebesell, U, Sommer, U, Aberle, N, Brussaard, CPD and Boersma, M 2018 , 'Plankton responses to ocean acidification: the role of nutrient limitation' , Progress in Oceanography, vol. 165 , pp. 11-18 , doi: 10.1016/j.pocean.2018.04.006.

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Abstract

In situ mesocosm experiments on the effect of ocean acidification (OA) are an important tool for investigating potential OA-induced changes in natural plankton communities. In this study we combined results from various in-situ mesocosm studies in two different ocean regions (Arctic and temperate waters) to reveal general patterns of plankton community shifts in response to OA and how these changes are modulated by inorganic nutrient availability. Overall, simulated OA caused an increase in phytoplankton standing stock, which was more pronounced in smaller-sized taxa. This effect on primary producers was channelled differently into heterotroph primary consumers depending on the inorganic nutrient availability. Under limiting conditions, bacteria and micro-heterotrophs benefited with inconsistent responses of larger heterotrophs. During nutrient replete periods, heterotrophs were in general negatively affected, although there was an increase of some mesozooplankton developmental stages (i.e. copepodites). We hypothesize that changes in phytoplankton size distribution and community composition could be responsible for these food web responses.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Alvarez-Fernandez, S and Bach, LT and Taucher, J and Riebesell, U and Sommer, U and Aberle, N and Brussaard, CPD and Boersma, M
Keywords: ocean acidification, nutrient limitation, plankton
Journal or Publication Title: Progress in Oceanography
Publisher: Pergamon-Elsevier Science Ltd
ISSN: 0079-6611
DOI / ID Number: 10.1016/j.pocean.2018.04.006
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2018 Elsevier Ltd.

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