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Coccolithophore life-cycle dynamics in a coastal Mediterranean ecosystem: seasonality and species-specific patterns
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology.
Univ Zagreb, Fac Sci, Dept Biol, Rooseveltov Trg 6, Zagreb 10000, Croatia.
Inst Oceanog & Fisheries, Setaliste Ivana Mestrov 63, Split 21000, Croatia.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology. Inst Oceanog & Fisheries, Setaliste Ivana Mestrov 63, Split 21000, Croatia [Show the Organization-Enhanced name(s)] [ 4 ] Univ Oslo, Dept Biosci, CEES, POB 1066 Blindern, N-0316 Oslo, Norway.
2016 (English)In: Journal of Plankton Research, ISSN 0142-7873, E-ISSN 1464-3774, Vol. 38, no 5, 1178-1193 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Coccolithophores (calcifying haptophyte algae) commonly exhibit a heteromorphic life cycle, alternating between morphologically distinct heterococcolith (diploid) and holococcolith (haploid) phases. The prevalence of each life phase in a coccolithophore community defines its overall ecological and biogeochemical performance due to differences in physiology, biomass and calcification. The main drivers of life-cycle dynamics and ecological preferences of the two life-phases are still unclear and field data of high taxonomic resolution are needed. We investigated the distribution and abundance patterns of the life-phases of 14 coccolithophore species. The study was conducted along the strong environmental gradients of the Krka River estuary (Eastern Adriatic Sea) during winter (February) and summer (July) 2013. The results reveal characteristic life-phase seasonality with an overall dominance of the heterococcolith phase during winter and a holococcolith phase during summer. However, we also detected exceptions to the strictly seasonal patterns as well as species-specific ecological preferences. Our findings provide new insights into coccolithophore life-phase dynamics in the Mediterranean Sea that will further advance the understanding of ecology and evolution of the group.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 38, no 5, 1178-1193 p.
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences Biological Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-302897DOI: 10.1093/plankt/fbw061ISI: 000384135000004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-302897DiVA: diva2:968782
Available from: 2016-09-12 Created: 2016-09-12 Last updated: 2016-10-27Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Phenotypic evolution and adaptive strategies in marine phytoplankton (Coccolithophores)
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Phenotypic evolution and adaptive strategies in marine phytoplankton (Coccolithophores)
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Coccolithophores are biogeochemically important marine algae that interact with the carbon cycle through photosynthesis (CO2 sink), calcification (CO2 source) and burial of carbon into oceanic sediments. The group is considered susceptible to the ongoing climate perturbations, in particular to ocean acidification, temperature increase and nutrient limitation. The aim of this thesis was to investigate the adaptation of coccolithophores to environmental change, with the focus on temperature stress and nutrient limitation. The research was conducted in frame of three approaches: experiments testing the physiological response of coccolithophore species Helicosphaera carteri and Coccolithus pelagicus to phosphorus limitation, field studies on coccolithophore life-cycles with a method comparison and an investigation of the phenotypic evolution of the coccolithophore genus Helicosphaera over the past 15 Ma. Experimental results show that the physiology and morphology of large coccolithophores are sensitive to phosphorus limitation, and that the adaptation to low-nutrient conditions can lead to a decrease in calcification rates. Field studies have contributed to our understanding of coccolithophore life cycles, revealing complex ecological patterns within the Mediterranean community which are seemingly regulated by seasonal, temperature-driven environment changes. In addition, the high-throughput sequencing (HTS) molecular method was shown to provide overall good representation of coccolithophore community composition. Finally, the study on Helicosphaera evolution showed that adaptation to decreasing CO2 in higher latitudes involved cell and coccolith size decrease, whereas the adaptation in tropical ecosystems also included a physiological decrease in calcification rates in response to nutrient limitation. This thesis advanced our understanding of coccolithophore adaptive strategies and will improve our predictions on the fate of the group under ongoing climate change.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2016. 54 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 1427
Keyword
Coccolithophores, Life-Cycle, Phytoplankton, Nutrient limitation, Temperature, Microscopy, High-throughput sequencing, Taxonomy
National Category
Evolutionary Biology Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-302903 (URN)978-91-554-9689-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-10-28, Hambergsalen, Department of Earth Sciences, Villavägen 16, Uppsala, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-10-07 Created: 2016-09-12 Last updated: 2016-10-11

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