Responses of Phyto- and Zooplankton Communities to Prymnesium polylepis (Prymnesiales) Bloom in the Baltic Sea
2014 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 9, no 11, e112985Article in journal (Refereed) Published
A large bloom of Prymnesium polylepis occurred in the Baltic Sea during the winter 2007 - spring 2008. Based on numerous reports of strong allelopathic effects on phytoplankton exerted by P. polylepis and its toxicity to grazers, we hypothesized that during this period negative correlations will be observed between P. polylepis and (1) main phytoplankton groups contributing to the spring bloom (i.e., diatoms and dinoflagellates), and (2) zooplankton growth and abundance. To test these hypotheses, we analyzed inter-annual variability in phytoplankton and zooplankton dynamics as well as growth indices (RNA: DNA ratio) in dominant zooplankton in relation to the Prymnesium abundance and biomass. Contrary to the hypothesized relationships, no measurable negative responses to P. polylepis were observed for either the total phytoplankton stocks or the zooplankton community. The only negative response, possibly associated with P. polylepis occurrence, was significantly lower abundance of dinoflagellates both during and after the bloom in 2008. Moreover, contrary to the expected negative effects, there were significantly higher total phytoplankton abundance as well as significantly higher winter abundance and winter-spring RNA: DNA ratio in dominant zooplankton species in 2008, indicating that P. polylepis bloom coincided with favourable feeding conditions for zooplankton. Thus, primary consumers, and consequently also zooplanktivores (e.g., larval fish and mysids), may benefit from haptophyte blooms, particularly in winter, when phytoplankton is scarce.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 9, no 11, e112985
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences Biological Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-113717DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0112985ISI: 000347709300133OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-113717DiVA: diva2:796348