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Seasonal changes in Baltic Sea seston stoichiometry: the influence of diazotrophic cyanobacteria
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
2010 (English)In: Marine Ecology Progress Series, ISSN 0171-8630, E-ISSN 1616-1599, Vol. 407, 13-25 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We studied nutrient deficiency of Baltic Sea phytoplankton, as indicated by C:N:P ratios in filamentous N-2-fixing (diazotrophic) cyanobacteria and size-fractions of seston. Samples were collected during an annual cycle in the NW Baltic proper (1998, Landsort Deep) and in 2 summers in the central Baltic proper (1997 and 1998, Gotland Basin). Generally, seston C:N:P ratios in the top 20 m were close to Redfield values. There was a transient increase in the C:N ratio at the end of the phytoplankton spring bloom (to similar to 9 mol:mol), concomitant with the depletion of dissolved inorganic N (DIN), but not dissolved inorganic phosphorus (DIP), indicating that phytoplankton became N-limited at the end of the spring bloom. In early summer (May-June), seston C:N:P ratios indicated weak N limitation of the community of small phytoplankton. From June through summer, seston size-fractions < 10 mu m accumulated mainly C and N, resulting in a September peak in seston C:P and N:P ratios (201 and 23 mol:mol, respectively) in the surface water. This change occurred in parallel with an increase in C:P and N:P ratios of diazotrophic filamentous cyanobacteria to levels indicative of severe P limitation of cyanobacterial growth. This suggests that the cyanobacterial P demand and new N from their N-2 fixation caused a weak P deficiency also in non-diazotrophs. However, the small increase in seston N:P, as well as a seston C:N above the Redfield ratio, indicate that N and P are nearly co-limiting for non-diazotrophs at the culmination of the cyanobacterial bloom in late summer.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 407, 13-25 p.
Keyword [en]
Seston, Element ratios, Nutrient limitation, Stoichiometry, Baltic Sea, Cyanobacteria, Size fraction
National Category
Biological Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-49212DOI: 10.3354/meps08551ISI: 000278978600002OAI: diva2:376952
authorCount :2Available from: 2010-12-13 Created: 2010-12-13 Last updated: 2010-12-13Bibliographically approved

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Walve, JakobLarsson, Ulf
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