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Quantifying the temperature dependence of growth rate in marine phytoplankton within and across species

TitleQuantifying the temperature dependence of growth rate in marine phytoplankton within and across species
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsBarton S, Yvon‐Durocher G
JournalLimnology and Oceanography
ISSN0024-3590
KeywordsRCC1303, rcc1512, rcc1731, RCC1773, RCC4221, rcc539, RCC6, RCC623, RCC626, RCC652, RCC653, RCC655, RCC834, RCC88
Abstract

Abstract Models of marine biogeochemistry capture the effects of temperature on phytoplankton growth via the monotonic, exponential Eppley coefficient, without considering the physiological or evolutionary processes that underpin this emergent, across-species temperature response. Here, we investigated both the within- and across-species temperature dependence of growth rate for 18 species of marine phytoplankton. We found that the temperature dependence of growth rate derived across species was lower than the average temperature response within species. This finding supports a “partial compensation” model of thermal adaptation and suggests that adaptation can partially compensate for the underlying thermodynamic effects of temperature on physiological rates observed within species. We also found that thermal tolerance traits (e.g. the optimum temperature for growth) systematically covaried with a host of key functional traits (e.g. cell size, elemental composition). Consequently, turnover in species composition in a warmer ocean, linked to interspecific variability in thermal tolerance traits, could be associated with major shifts in the functional trait composition of marine phytoplankton communities with far reaching implications for ecosystem functioning.

DOI10.1002/lno.11170