Response of a coastal Baltic Sea diatom-dominated phytoplankton community to experimental heat shock and changing salinity

Stefanidou, Natassa, Genitsaris, Savvas, Lopez-Bautista, Juan, Sommer, Ulrich and Moustaka-Gouni, Maria (UNSPECIFIED) Response of a coastal Baltic Sea diatom-dominated phytoplankton community to experimental heat shock and changing salinity Oecologia, 191 (2). pp. 461-474. DOI 10.1007/s00442-019-04502-0.

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Climate change has been altering the ocean environment, affecting as a consequence the biological communities including microorganisms. We performed a mesocosm experiment to test whether biodiversity loss caused by one stressor would influence plankton community sensitivity to a subsequent stressor, as envisioned in Vinebrooke's multiple stressor concept. A natural Baltic Sea diatom-dominated phytoplankton assemblage was used as a model system where we examined whether a preceding heat shock would affect the community's response to changing salinity. Initially, the community was treated by a short-term temperature increase of 6 °C, which resulted in a loss of species compared to the control. Thereafter, the control and the heat-shocked communities were subject to a salinity change (- 5 psu, control, + 5 psu). The species Skeletonema dohrnii, Thalassiosira anguste-lineata, Thalassiosira nordenskioeldii, Chaetoceros socialis and Ditylum brightwellii were major components of the control and heat-shocked assemblages (> 80% of the total biomass). We examined the effect on species composition and biodiversity (morphospecies and operational taxonomic units (OTUs) related to phytoplankton) and on phytoplankton biomass. In addition, we explored the single species response of five dominant diatoms on these environmental perturbations. Our results showed that increased salinity significantly reduced the OTUs richness both in the control and the less diverse heated community as well as the phytoplankton biomass in the heated community. On the other hand, decreased salinity significantly increased species richness and phytoplankton biomass in both communities and OTUs richness in the control community. The five dominant diatoms reached their highest biomass under decreased salinity and responded negatively to increased salinity (lower biomass than ambient salinity). Contrary to Vinebrooke's multiple stressor concept, there was no indication that the heat treatment had altered the community's sensitivity to the salinity stress in our study system.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Climate change; Interactive effects; 18S rRNA gene sequencing; Mesocosms
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-EOE-B Experimental Ecology - Benthic Ecology
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1007/s00442-019-04502-0
ISSN: 0029-8549
Date Deposited: 08 Oct 2019 11:03
Last Modified: 08 Oct 2019 11:03

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