DMSP synthesis and exudation in phytoplankton: a modeling approach

D Laroche, A.F Vézina, M Levasseur, M Gosselin, J. Stefels, M.D Keller, P.A Matrai, R.L J Kwint

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Abstract

In the marine environment, phytoplankton are the fundamental producers of dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP), the precursor of the climatically active gas dimethylsulfide (DMS). DMSP is released by exudation, cell autolysis, and zooplankton grazing during phytoplankton blooms. In this study, we developed a model of phytoplankton DMSP and DMS production allowing quantification of the exudation rates of these compounds during different growth phases. The model was tested on published data from axenic cultures of Prorocentrum minimum and Phaeocystis sp.; DMSP exudation rates vary considerably between the 2 species. Model results show that P. minimum exudes around 1% d(-1) of its DMSP quota during the latent, exponential and senescent phases. This is comparable to the average exudation rate estimated from previous laboratory experiments. However, Phaeocystis sp. exudes from 3 to 11% d(-1) of its DMSP quota. For this species, DMSP exudation rates apparently show an inverse relationship with the population growth rate. The maximum DMSP exudation rate in Phaeocystis sp. is 10 times higher than previously reported DMSP or DMS exudation rates. Our results suggest that exudation may be as important as cell autolysis in the release of DMSP during Phaeocystis sp. blooms. We conclude that exudation should be incorporated in models of DMS cycling in the marine environment. Moreover, our results for Phaeocystis sp. suggest that a low and constant exudation rate, as sometimes used in models, is not suitable for all conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-49
Number of pages13
JournalMarine Ecology Progress Series
Volume180
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3-May-1999

Keywords

  • DMS
  • DMSP
  • exudation
  • synthesis
  • Phaeocystis
  • model
  • SOUTHERN NORTH-SEA
  • DIMETHYL SULFIDE
  • PHAEOCYSTIS-POUCHETII
  • MARINE-PHYTOPLANKTON
  • SEASONAL-VARIATION
  • BARENTS SEA
  • DIMETHYLSULFONIOPROPIONATE
  • BLOOM
  • WATER
  • ALGAE

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