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Exploring the link between micronutrients and phytoplankton in the Southern Ocean during the 2007 austral summer


Hassler, CS and Sinoir, M and Clementson, LA and Butler, ECV, Exploring the link between micronutrients and phytoplankton in the Southern Ocean during the 2007 austral summer, Frontiers in Microbiology, 3, (JUL) Article 202. ISSN 1664-302X (2012) [Refereed Article]


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Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0)

DOI: doi:10.3389/fmicb.2012.00202


Bottle assays and large-scale fertilization experiments have demonstrated that, in the Southern Ocean, iron often controls the biomass and the biodiversity of primary producers. To grow, phytoplankton need numerous other trace metals (micronutrients) required for the activity of key enzymes and other intracellular functions. However, little is known of the potential these other trace elements have to limit the growth of phytoplankton in the Southern Ocean.This study, investigates whether micronutrients other than iron (Zn, Co, Cu, Cd, Ni) need to be considered as parameters for controlling the phytoplankton growth from the Australian Subantarctic to the Polar Frontal Zones during the austral summer 2007. Analysis of nutrient disappearance ratios, suggested differential zones in phytoplankton growth control in the study region with a most intense phytoplankton growth limitation between 49 and 50S. Comparison of micronutrient disappearance ratios, metal distribution, and biomarker pigments used to identify dominating phytoplankton groups, demonstrated that a complex interaction between Fe, Zn, and Co might exist in the study region. Although iron remains the pivotal micronutrient for phytoplankton growth and community structure, Zn and Co are also important for the nutrition and the growth of most of the dominating phytoplankton groups in the Subantarctic Zone region. Understanding of the parameters controlling phytoplankton is paramount, as it affects the functioning of the Southern Ocean, its marine resources and ultimately the global carbon cycle.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:subantarctic zone, pigments, Zn, Co, SAZ-Sense, trace element, subantarctic, polar
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology)
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Marine systems and management
Objective Field:Marine biodiversity
UTAS Author:Sinoir, M (Miss Marie Sinoir)
ID Code:85004
Year Published:2012
Web of Science® Times Cited:23
Deposited By:Research Division
Deposited On:2013-06-11
Last Modified:2013-08-06
Downloads:518 View Download Statistics

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