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Southern Ocean phytoplankton physiology in a changing climate


Petrou, K and Kranz, SA and Trimborn, S and Hassler, CS and Ameijeiras, SB and Sackett, O and Ralph, PJ and Davidson, A, Southern Ocean phytoplankton physiology in a changing climate, Journal of Plant Physiology, 203 pp. 135-150. ISSN 0176-1617 (2016) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2016 Elsevier GmbH.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.jplph.2016.05.004


The Southern Ocean (SO) is a major sink for anthropogenic atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2), potentially harbouring even greater potential for additional sequestration of CO2 through enhanced phytoplankton productivity. In the SO, primary productivity is primarily driven by bottom up processes (physical and chemical conditions) which are spatially and temporally heterogeneous. Due to a paucity of trace metals (such as iron) and high variability in light, much of the SO is characterised by an ecological paradox of high macronutrient concentrations yet uncharacteristically low chlorophyll concentrations. It is expected that with increased anthropogenic CO2 emissions and the coincident warming, the major physical and chemical process that govern the SO will alter, influencing the biological capacity and functioning of the ecosystem. This review focuses on the SO primary producers and the bottom up processes that underpin their health and productivity. It looks at the major physico-chemical drivers of change in the SO, and based on current physiological knowledge, explores how these changes will likely manifest in phytoplankton, specifically, what are the physiological changes and floristic shifts that are likely to ensue and how this may translate into changes in the carbon sink capacity, net primary productivity and functionality of the SO.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Southern Ocean, phytoplankton, marine primary productivity, climate change
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Oceanography
Research Field:Biological oceanography
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Marine systems and management
Objective Field:Measurement and assessment of marine water quality and condition
UTAS Author:Davidson, A (Dr Andrew Davidson)
ID Code:114195
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:59
Deposited By:CRC-Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems
Deposited On:2017-02-08
Last Modified:2017-10-25

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