Multiple environmental controls on phytoplankton growth strategies determine adaptive responses of the N : P ratio

Daines, SJ; Clark, JR; Lenton, TM. 2014 Multiple environmental controls on phytoplankton growth strategies determine adaptive responses of the N : P ratio. Ecology Letters, 17 (4). 414-425. 10.1111/ele.12239

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ele.12239

Abstract/Summary

The controls on the 'Redfield' N:P stoichiometry of marine phytoplankton and hence the N:P ratio of the deep ocean remain incompletely understood. Here, we use a model for phytoplankton ecophysiology and growth, based on functional traits and resource-allocation trade-offs, to show how environmental filtering, biotic interactions, and element cycling in a global ecosystem model determine phytoplankton biogeography, growth strategies and macromolecular composition. Emergent growth strategies capture major observed patterns in marine biomes. Using a new synthesis of experimental RNA and protein measurements to constrain per-ribosome translation rates, we determine a spatially variable lower limit on adaptive rRNA:protein allocation and hence on the relationship between the largest cellular P and N pools. Comparison with the lowest observed phytoplankton N:P ratios and N:P export fluxes in the Southern Ocean suggests that additional contributions from phospholipid and phosphorus storage compounds play a fundamental role in determining the marine biogeochemical cycling of these elements.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Additional Keywords: NUTRIENT LIMITATION; ELEMENTAL STOICHIOMETRY; MARINE-PHYTOPLANKTON; RESOURCE-ALLOCATION; UNICELLULAR ALGAE; CELL-SIZE; PHOSPHORUS; NITROGEN; MODEL; OCEAN
Subjects: Ecology and Environment
Marine Sciences
Divisions: Plymouth Marine Laboratory > Science Areas > Today's Models Tomorrow's Futures
Depositing User: Mrs Julia Crocker
Date made live: 02 Oct 2014 15:32
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2017 16:12
URI: http://plymsea.ac.uk/id/eprint/6207

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