Effect of CO2, nutrients and light on coastal plankton. III. Trophic cascade, size structure and composition

A. Reul*, M. Munoz, B. Bautista, P. J. Neale, C. Sobrino, J. M. Mercado, M. Segovia, S. Salles, G. Kulk, P. Leon, W. H. van de Poll, E. Perez, A. Buma, J. M. Blanco

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

24 Citaten (Scopus)
77 Downloads (Pure)


We investigated the impacts of climate change-associated abiotic factors on the species composition and size structure of coastal phytoplankton communities. Surface coastal water collected off the coast of Malaga (Spain) was incubated outdoors during a 7 d microcosm experiment. The natural phytoplankton communities were exposed to high and low conditions of CO2, nutrients and light. During the first 2 d, a positive response to increased CO2 and nutrient concentration was observed in terms of abundance and chlorophyll in all size fractions (20 mu m). After 2 d, a trophic cascade effect was observed within the phytoplankton communities for all treatments. The absence of mesozooplankton led to an increase in microzooplankton abundance, which coincided with a decrease in the abundance of phytoplankton 20 mu m ESD showed a positive response to the effects of increasing CO2 and nutrient concentration. These results high light the importance of trophic interactions other than abiotic factors such as CO2 and nutrient availability in shaping the size structure of Mediterranean phytoplankton. More specifically, this work shows the importance of trophic cascade effects in scaling the plankton SAS and should be considered in both enclosure experiments and field measurements that deal with size distribution.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)59-76
Aantal pagina's18
TijdschriftAquatic Biology
StatusPublished - 20-nov.-2014

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