Skeletonema costatum (Greville) Cleve isolated from Narragansett Bay, USA, was incubated at 3 light intensities (ca. 0.008, 0.040 and 0.075 ly min-1) under a 12 h light: 12 h dark (12L:12D) photoperiod at 2°, 10° and 20°C. Cellular chlorophyll a increased at intensities less than ca. 0.040 ly min-1; increases occured within one photoperiod at temperatures above 10°C. Cellular carbohydrate increased with light intensity at all temperatures; increases during the photophase were due to net production of the dilute acid-soluble fraction. Cellular protein increased during the photoperiod at 10° and 20°C; there was little difference in cellular protein among all cultures after one photoperiod. The rate at which cellular chlorophyll a increased in response to a decrease in light suggests that diel variation in cellular chlorophyll a is temperature-dependent in S. costatum. Protein: carbohydrate ratios ranged from ca. 0.5 to 2.0 over a diel cycle; ratios increased at lower intensities and higher temperatures. The diel range in protein:carbohydrate ratios equals that in cultures developing nitrogen deficiency; thus, use of this ratio as an index to phytoplankton physiological state must account for diel light effects.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Aquatic Science