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Grazing on cyanobacteria and transfer of diazotrophic nitrogen to zooplankton in the Baltic Sea
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences. Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry.
Number of Authors: 42018 (English)In: Limnology and Oceanography, ISSN 0024-3590, E-ISSN 1939-5590, Vol. 63, no 2, p. 672-686Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria (NFC) are important primary producers in many freshwater and marine systems, including the Baltic Sea. In this system, NFC circumvent summer nitrogen limitation, while also generating a supply of novel combined nitrogen and thus supporting food webs. Using field observations on zooplankton and phytoplankton development during a growth season in the northern Baltic Proper, we show that cyanobacterial nitrogen is assimilated and transferred to zooplankton via both direct grazing on NFC and indirectly through grazing on picoplankton, such as picocyanobacteria. The key findings supporting these conclusions are: (1) all zooplankton grazers were found to ingest NFC (Nodularia spumigena) and picocyanobacteria (Synechococcus spp.); (2) ingestion of both NFC and picocyanobacteria measured by quantitative polymerase chain reaction analysis was highly correlated with ambient stocks of the respective cyanobacteria; (3) consumption of NFC and picocyanobacteria translated into decreased delta N-15 signature of zooplankton indicative of diazotrophic nitrogen input; (4) growth and reproduction indices in zooplankters were significantly positively related to NFC and picocyanobacteria; and (5) zooplankton biomass was positively related to the increasing nitrogen content of particulate organic matter (POM<10 mu m) and was highest at low POM delta N-15 values; the latter reflected overlap in zooplankton production and diazotroph seasonal dynamics. These findings provide empirical evidence that both NFC and picoplankton are readily ingested and assimilated by zooplankton, albeit with differential effects on growth and recruitment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 63, no 2, p. 672-686
National Category
Biological Sciences Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-154798DOI: 10.1002/lno.10659ISI: 000427104700012OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-154798DiVA, id: diva2:1198209
Available from: 2018-04-17 Created: 2018-04-17 Last updated: 2018-04-17Bibliographically approved

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Motwani, Nisha H.Duberg, JonSvedén, Jennie B.Gorokhova, Elena
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Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant SciencesDepartment of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry
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