Virginia Institute of Marine Science
A meta-analysis of photosynthesis-irradiance measurements was completed using data from the Ross Sea, Antarctica, using a total of 417 independent measurements. P-m(B), the maximum, chlorophyll-specific, irradiancesaturated rate of photosynthesis, averaged 1.1 +/- 0.06 mu gC (mu g Chl)(-1) h(-1). Light-limited, chlorophyll-specific photosynthetic rates (alpha(B)) averaged 0.030 +/- 0.023 mu gC (mu g Chl)(-1) h(-1) (mu mol quanta m(-2) s(-1))(-1). Significant variations in P-m(B) and alpha(B) were found as a function of season, with spring maximum photosynthetic rates being 60% greater than those in summer. Similarly, alpha values were 48% greater in spring. There was no detectable effect of sampling location on the photosynthetic parameters, and temperature and macronutrient (NO3) concentrations also did not have an influence. However, irradiance and carbon dioxide concentrations, when altered under controlled conditions, exerted significant influences on photosynthetic parameters. Specifically, reduced irradiance resulted in significantly decreased P-m(B) and increased alpha(B) values, and increased CO2 concentrations resulted in significantly increased P-m(B) and alpha(B) values. Comparison of photosynthetic parameters derived at stations where iron concentrations were above and below 0.1nM indicated that reduced iron levels were associated with significantly increased P-m(B) values, confirming the importance of iron within the photosynthetic process. No significant difference was detected between stations dominated by diatoms and those dominated by the haptophyte Phaeocystis antarctica. The meta-analysis confirms the photosynthetic rates predicted from global analyses that are based solely on temperature and irradiance availability, but suggests that, for more accurate predictions of productivity in polar systems, a more detailed model that includes temporal effects of photosynthetic parameters will be required.
SOUTHERN-OCEAN PHYTOPLANKTON; MARINE-PHYTOPLANKTON; FRAGILARIOPSIS-CYLINDRUS; PHAEOCYSTIS-ANTARCTICA; COMMUNITY STRUCTURE; IRON; OCEANOGRAPHY; TEMPERATURE; GROWTH; LIGHT
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This research was supported through National Science Foundation grant ANT-0944254 to W. O. Smith Jr. P. Sedwick generously allowed the use of his iron data from the PRISM cruise. We thank all our colleagues for their assistance at sea, especially L. Delizo and V. Asper. This is VIMS contribution number 3467.
Smith, Walker O. Jr. and Donaldson, K., Photosynthesis-irradiance responses in the Ross Sea, Antarctica: a meta-analysis (2015). Biogeosciences, 12(11), 3567-3577.