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Physiological response of temperate microphytobenthos to freezing temperatures


Lee, SH and McMinn, A, Physiological response of temperate microphytobenthos to freezing temperatures, Journal of the Marine Biological Association of The United Kingdom, 93, (8) pp. 2039-2047. ISSN 0025-3154 (2013) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2013 Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom

DOI: doi:10.1017/S0025315413000593


Microphytobenthos (MPB) contributes up to half the primary production of estuaries. These microorganisms are sensitive to changes in sediment temperatures, particularly the extreme temperatures during exposure periods. This study investigates the physiological responses of MPB to freezing temperatures at two locations near Hobart, Tasmania during winter. Photosynthetic parameters were measured at 2 mm intervals to a depth of 10 mm. FV/FM values at three different distances from the shoreline at Kings Beach and Browns River in winter were between 0.584 and 0.617. rETRmax values were between 24.696 and 20.773. Maximum a values peaked in the subsurface rather than at the sediment surface. In vitro laboratory experiments (down to 258C) showed little difference in response between the control and treatment groups, indicating no apparent effects of short term freezing on the MPB. Little change in photosynthetic parameters in response to freezing was probably associated with the resistance of light-harvesting reactions to freezing temperatures, recovery of the plasmalemma integrity or cryoprotection. Sediment composition and species composition were similar at both sampling sites. Therefore, responses of MPB were not due to species and grain size composition.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:microphytobenthos diatom Tasmania freezing
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:Lee, SH (Ms Amelia Lee)
UTAS Author:McMinn, A (Professor Andrew McMinn)
ID Code:87636
Year Published:2013
Web of Science® Times Cited:3
Deposited By:IMAS Research and Education Centre
Deposited On:2013-11-28
Last Modified:2017-11-03

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