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Key role of phosphorus and nitrogen in regulating cyanobacterial community composition in the northern Baltic Sea
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
Number of Authors: 4
2015 (English)In: Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, ISSN 0272-7714, E-ISSN 1096-0015, Vol. 164, 161-171 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Despite cyanobacteria being a key phytoplankton group in the Baltic Sea, the factors governing their community structure are still poorly understood. Here, we studied the occurrence of the orders Chroococcales, Oscillatoriales and Nostocales, and potentially explanatory variables at five locations in the northern Baltic Sea from June September, 1998-2012. Cyanobacteria constituted 1-36% of the total phytoplankton biomass along the north south gradient. In the Bothnian Bay, Chroococcales and Oscillatoriales dominated the cyanobacterial community, whereas in the Bothnian Sea and northern Baltic Proper, Nostocales was the dominant group. The dominance of Chroococcales was coupled to low salinity and low total phosphorus, whereas Oscillatoriales correlated with high total nitrogen and low salinity. Nostocales correlated to high total phosphorus, inorganic phosphorus and salinity. Chroococcales showed an increase over time in the offshore Bothnian Bay, whereas Nostocales increased in the coastal Bothnian Sea and coastal Baltic Proper. The increase of Nostocales in the coastal Bothnian Sea was explained by a rise in total phosphorus and decrease in dissolved inorganic nitrogen compared to an increase of total nitrogen and phosphorus in the coastal Baltic Proper. No significant trends were observed in the cyanobacterial community in the offshore Bothnian Sea and the offshore northern Baltic Proper. We concluded that Chroococcales may be a useful indicator for increased phosphorus levels in waters with low phosphorus concentrations, whereas Nostocales could be used as a quality indicator for increasing phosphorus concentrations in waters with low inorganic N/P ratios (< 20), such as in the coastal Bothnian Sea and Baltic Proper.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 164, 161-171 p.
Keyword [en]
Cyanobacteria, Baltic Sea, Chroococcales, Oscillatoriales, Nostocales, Indicators
National Category
Biological Sciences Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-126858DOI: 10.1016/j.ecss.2015.07.013ISI: 000367862400018OAI: diva2:906316
Available from: 2016-02-24 Created: 2016-02-16 Last updated: 2016-02-24Bibliographically approved

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Höglander, Helena
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Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences
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