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Metabolic and physiological changes in Prymnesium parvum when grown under, and grazing on prey of, variable nitrogen: Phosphorus stoichiometry

Lundgren, Veronica M., Glibert, Patricia M., Granéli, Edena, Vidyarathna, Nayani K., Fiori, Emanuela, Ou, Linjian, Flynn, Kevin J., Mitra, Aditee, Stoecker, Diane K. and Hansen, Per J. 2016. Metabolic and physiological changes in Prymnesium parvum when grown under, and grazing on prey of, variable nitrogen: Phosphorus stoichiometry. Harmful Algae 55 , pp. 1-12. 10.1016/j.hal.2016.01.002

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Mixotrophy is found in almost all classes of phytoplankton in a wide range of aquatic habitats ranging from oligotrophic to eutrophic marine and freshwater systems. Few studies have addressed how the nutritional status of the predator and/or the prey affects mixotrophic metabolism despite the realization that mixotrophy is important ecologically. Laboratory experiments were conducted to examine changes in growth rates and physiological states of the toxic haptophyte Prymnesium parvum when fed Rhodomonas salina of varying nutritional status. Haemolytic activity of P. parvum and prey mortality of R. salina were also measured. P. parvum cultures grown to be comparatively low in nitrogen (low-N), phosphorus (low-P) or low in both nutrients (low-NP) were mixed with low-NP, low-N, and low-P R. salina in all possible combinations, i.e., a 3 × 3 factorial design. N deficiency was obtained in the low-N cultures, while true P deficiency may not have been obtained in the low-P cultures. Mortality rates of R. salina (both due to ingestion and/or cell rupture as a function of grazing or toxic effects) were higher when R. salina cells were low-P, N-rich, regardless of the nutritional state of P. parvum. Mortality rates were, however, directly related to the initial prey:predator cell ratios. On the other hand, growth of the predator was a function of nutritional status and a significant positive correlation was observed between growth rates of P. parvum and cell-specific depletion rates of N, whereas no such relationship was found between P. parvum growth rates and depletion rates of P. In addition, the greatest changes in chlorophyll content and stoichiometric ratios of P. parvum were observed in high N:P conditions. Therefore, P. parvum may show enhanced success under conditions of higher inorganic N:P, which are likely favored in the future due to increases in eutrophication and altered nutrient stoichiometry driven by anthropogenic nutrient loads that are increasingly enriched in N relative to P.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Ocean Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 1568-9883
Date of Acceptance: 6 January 2016
Last Modified: 18 Feb 2020 10:45

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