Virginia Institute of Marine Science
Aquatic Microbial Ecology
Uptake of inorganic and organic nitrogen (N) by phytoplankton and bacteria was investigated during a mesocosm study conducted in Raunefjord, Norway in April 2005. One mesocosm was fertilized with nitrate and phosphate at a ratio of 16:1 and maintained in the light, while one unamended light mesocosm served as a control. Dissolved nutrients, phytoplankton and bacterial biomass, and phytoplankton community composition were monitored throughout the 26 d experiment. Uptake of (15)N-labeled ammonium and nitrate, and dual-labeled ((15)N and (13)C) urea and dissolved free amino acids (DFAA) was measured for phytoplankton and bacteria using 2 methods: size fractionation into 0.2-0.8 and > 0.8 pm size classes, and flow cytometric sorting based on chlorophyll autofluorescence. Prior to fertilization, dissolved inorganic N concentrations were low and comprised similar to 5% of total dissolved N. Added nitrate was completely utilized in the amended mesocosm within 10 d, stimulating a large bloom of colonial Phaeocystis pouchetii. Ammonium contributed over half of total measured N uptake by phytoplankton and bacteria in both enclosures, while nitrate and urea each supplied roughly 10 to 25%. Overall, DFAA were a negligible N source to phytoplankton but contributed 11 % to total bacterial N uptake. Bacterial uptake represented a significant portion of total uptake of all N forms, especially urea and DFAA. Comparison of the 2 methods for measuring phytoplankton versus bacterial uptake demonstrates how the use of 0.8 mu m filters can lead to significant overestimation of phytoplankton N uptake due to the retention of bacterial biomass.
Long-Term Changes; North-Sea; Organic Nitrogen; Spring Bloom; Marine-Phytoplankton; Natural-Populations; Inorganic Nitrogen; Coastal Waters; Nutrient; Ammonium
Bradley, PB; Sanderson, MP; Nejstgaard, JC; Sazhin, AF; Frischer, ME; Killberg-Thoreson, LM; Verity, PG; Campbell, L; and Bronk, DA, "Nitrogen uptake by phytoplankton and bacteria during an induced Phaeocystis pouchetii bloom, measured using size fractionation and flow cytometric sorting" (2010). VIMS Articles. 959.