On the causes of interspecific differences in the growth-irradiance relationship for phytoplankton. II. A general review

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Abstract

The causes of interspecific differences in the μ-l relationship are examined in the context of a mechanistic model which relates μ to irradiance in terms of six factors:ø, kc photosynthetic quotient (PQ), Chl a:C, respiration and excretion. The effect of cell size on the light saturated growth rate is also considered. It is shown that photosynthetic efficiency and PQ exhibit remarkably little interspecific variability, and average 0.024 ± 0.005 μg C(μg Chl a)-1 h-1 (μE m-2 s-1)-1 and 1.5 ± 0.2 mol 02 mol C-1 (when NO3- is the nitrogen source) respectively. Two useful relationships were derived: (i) between growth efficiency, αg and Chl a:C at μ. = 0; (ii) between the compensation intensity, Ic and the Chl a-specific maintenance respiration rate. Both relationships were independent of temperature and daylength. Species best adapted to growth at low light were found to exhibit high Chl a:C ratios and low maintenance respiration rates. As a group, diatoms were consistently the best adapted for growth at low irradiance. Chiorophytes, haptophytes, chrysophytes and cryptophytes were intermediate in their performance at low irradiance. Dinoflagellates exhibited extreme diversity, with species spanning the spectrum from very good performance at low irradiance to very poor. A new μmax-cell carbon relationship is given based on growth rates normalized to 15°C. Evidence is presented to show that noise in this relationship can be significantly reduced by using only carbon-specific growth rates and using only data for species grown at the same daylength.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1291-1312
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Plankton Research
Volume10
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 1988
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Phytoplankton
Irradiance
irradiance
photoperiod
phytoplankton
Haptophyta
Respiration
respiration
Bacillariophyceae
carbon
mechanistic models
cell respiration
interspecific variation
specific growth rate
Carbon
excretion
cells
Quotient
Maintenance
nitrogen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Ecology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science

Cite this

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title = "On the causes of interspecific differences in the growth-irradiance relationship for phytoplankton. II. A general review",
abstract = "The causes of interspecific differences in the μ-l relationship are examined in the context of a mechanistic model which relates μ to irradiance in terms of six factors:{\o}, kc photosynthetic quotient (PQ), Chl a:C, respiration and excretion. The effect of cell size on the light saturated growth rate is also considered. It is shown that photosynthetic efficiency and PQ exhibit remarkably little interspecific variability, and average 0.024 ± 0.005 μg C(μg Chl a)-1 h-1 (μE m-2 s-1)-1 and 1.5 ± 0.2 mol 02 mol C-1 (when NO3- is the nitrogen source) respectively. Two useful relationships were derived: (i) between growth efficiency, αg and Chl a:C at μ. = 0; (ii) between the compensation intensity, Ic and the Chl a-specific maintenance respiration rate. Both relationships were independent of temperature and daylength. Species best adapted to growth at low light were found to exhibit high Chl a:C ratios and low maintenance respiration rates. As a group, diatoms were consistently the best adapted for growth at low irradiance. Chiorophytes, haptophytes, chrysophytes and cryptophytes were intermediate in their performance at low irradiance. Dinoflagellates exhibited extreme diversity, with species spanning the spectrum from very good performance at low irradiance to very poor. A new μmax-cell carbon relationship is given based on growth rates normalized to 15°C. Evidence is presented to show that noise in this relationship can be significantly reduced by using only carbon-specific growth rates and using only data for species grown at the same daylength.",
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