Climate change effects on phytoplankton depend on cell size and food web structure

Klauschies, Toni, Bauer, Barbara, Aberle-Malzahn, Nicole, Sommer, Ulrich and Gaedke, Ursula (2012) Climate change effects on phytoplankton depend on cell size and food web structure Marine Biology, 159 . pp. 2455-2478. DOI 10.1007/s00227-012-1904-y.

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Abstract

We investigated the effects of warming on a natural phytoplankton community from the Baltic Sea, based on six mesocosm experiments conducted 2005–2009. We focused on differences in the dynamics of three phytoplankton size groups which are grazed to a variable extent by different zooplankton groups. While small-sized algae were mostly grazer-controlled, light and nutrient availability largely determined the growth of medium- and large-sized algae. Thus, the latter groups dominated at increased light levels. Warming increased mesozooplankton grazing on medium-sized algae, reducing their biomass. The biomass of small-sized algae was not affected by temperature, probably due to an interplay between indirect effects spreading through the food web. Thus, under the higher temperature and lower light levels anticipated for the next decades in the southern Baltic Sea, a higher share of smaller phytoplankton is expected. We conclude that considering the size structure of the phytoplankton community strongly improves the reliability of projections of climate change effects.

Document Type: Article
Additional Information: WOS:000310586900009
Keywords: Climatology; phytoplankton; climate change; food webs; Baltic Sea; BALTIC SEA; SPRING BLOOM; TOP-DOWN; BOTTOM-UP; MARINE-PHYTOPLANKTON; WARMING STRENGTHENS; COMMUNITY STRUCTURE; CALANOID COPEPODS; TROPHIC CASCADES; HELGOLAND ROADS
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-EOE-N Experimental Ecology - Food Webs
GFZ
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1007/s00227-012-1904-y
ISSN: 0025-3162
Projects: AQUASHIFT
Date Deposited: 13 Apr 2012 12:10
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2016 11:23
URI: http://eprints.uni-kiel.de/id/eprint/14214

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