light availability
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2022 ◽  
Vol 114 ◽  
pp. 103807
César Enrique Romero-Higareda ◽  
Sergio Hernández-Verdugo ◽  
Antonio Pacheco-Olvera ◽  
Juan Núñez-Farfán ◽  
Enrique Retes-Manjarrez ◽  

Oecologia ◽  
2022 ◽  
Isaac R. Towers ◽  
David J. Merritt ◽  
Todd E. Erickson ◽  
Margaret M. Mayfield ◽  
John M. Dwyer

AbstractEnvironmentally cued germination may play an important role in promoting coexistence in Mediterranean annual plant systems if it causes niche differentiation across heterogeneous microsite conditions. In this study, we tested how microsite conditions experienced by seeds in the field and light conditions in the laboratory influenced germination in 12 common annual plant species occurring in the understorey of the York gum-jam woodlands in southwest Western Australia. Specifically, we hypothesized that if germination promotes spatial niche differentiation, then we should observe species-specific germination responses to light. In addition, we hypothesized that species’ laboratory germination response may depend on the microsite conditions experienced by seeds while buried. We tested the laboratory germination response of seeds under diurnally fluctuating light and complete darkness, which were collected from microsites spanning local-scale environmental gradients known to influence community structure in this system. We found that seeds of 6 out of the 12 focal species exhibited significant positive germination responses to light, but that the magnitude of these responses varied greatly with the relative light requirement for germination ranging from 0.51 to 0.86 for these species. In addition, germination increased significantly across a gradient of canopy cover for two species, but we found little evidence to suggest that species’ relative light requirement for germination varied depending on seed bank microsite conditions. Our results suggest that variability in light availability may promote coexistence in this system and that the microsite conditions seeds experience in the intra-growing season period can further nuance species germination behaviour.

2021 ◽  
Vol 12 (2) ◽  
Gabriele Del Gaizo ◽  
Luca Russo ◽  
Maria Abagnale ◽  
Angela Buondonno ◽  
Marta Furia ◽  

Plankton communities include both unicellular and multicellular organisms. An important unicellular component is represented by those protists (i.e., unicellular eukaryotes) that are non-strictly autotrophic organisms and consume bacteria and other protists. These organisms are an important link between primary producers and metazoans and are usually known as microzooplankton, protozooplankton, or mixoplankton, as many of them couple phagotrophic and photoautotrophic behaviours. Herein we report on the diversity of these organisms sampled at two sampling sites (coastal and offshore stations), at two depths (0 and 10 m), in the Gulf of Naples during the early autumn of 2020. Despite efforts to list plankton biodiversity of primary producers and metazoan grazers made in this area so far, protistan grazers are still poorly investigated and previous information date back to decades ago. Our survey identified dinoflagellates and oligotrich ciliates as the most abundant groups, while tintinnids were less quantitatively relevant. The taxonomic composition in samples investigated herein remarked that reported by previous studies, with the sole exception of the tintinnid Ascampbeliella armilla, which was never reported before. A coastal-offshore gradient in the taxonomical composition of protistan grazers was also observed, with some species more abundant within coastal waters and other better thriving in offshore ones. Surface and sub-surface communities also differed in terms of species composition, with the deeper communities in the two sites being more similar reciprocally than with communities at the surface. These differences were associated with distinct environmental conditions, such as light availability, as well with the standing feeding environment, arising potential implications in the functioning of the planktonic food web at the local scale.

2021 ◽  
Marta F.-Pedrera Balsells ◽  
Manel Grifoll ◽  
Margarita Fernández-Tejedor ◽  
Manuel Espino ◽  
Marc Mestres ◽  

Abstract. Phytoplankton primary production in coastal bays and estuaries is influenced by multiple physical variables, such as wind, tides, freshwater inputs or light availability. In a short-term perspective these factors may influence the composition of biological variables such as phytoplankton biomass, as well as the amount of nutrients within the waterbody. Observations in Fangar Bay, a small, shallow, stratified and micro-tidal bay in the Ebro Delta (NW Mediterranean Sea), have shown that during wind episodes the biological variables undergo sudden variations in terms of concentration and distribution within the bay. The Regional Ocean Model System (ROMS) coupled with a nitrogen-based nutrient, phytoplankton, zooplankton, and detritus (NPZD) model has been applied to understand this spatio-temporal variability of phytoplankton biomass in Fangar Bay. Idealised simulations prove that during weak wind events (< 6 m·s−1), the stratification is maintained and therefore there is not dynamic connection between surface and bottom layers, penalizing phytoplankton growth in the whole water column. Conversely, during intense wind events (> 10 m·s−1) water column mixing occurs, homogenising the concentration of nutrients throughout the column, and increasing phytoplankton biomass in the bottom layers. In addition, shifts in the wind direction generate different phytoplankton biomass distributions within the bay, in accordance with the dispersion of freshwater plumes from existing irrigation canals. Thus, the numerical results prove the influence of the freshwater plume evolution on the phytoplankton biomass distribution, which is consistent with remote sensing observations. The complexity of the wind-driven circulation due to the bathymetric characteristics and the modulation of the stratification implies that the phytoplankton biomass differs depending on the prevailing wind direction, leading to sharp Chl a gradients and complex patterns.

2021 ◽  
Vol 8 ◽  
David C. Walters ◽  
Joel A. Carr ◽  
Alyssa Hockaday ◽  
Joshua A. Jones ◽  
Eliza McFarland ◽  

Transgression into adjacent uplands is an important global response of coastal wetlands to accelerated rates of sea level rise. “Ghost forests” mark a signature characteristic of marsh transgression on the landscape, as changes in tidal inundation and salinity cause bordering upland tree mortality, increase light availability, and the emergence of tidal marsh species due to reduced competition. To investigate these mechanisms of the marsh migration process, we conducted a field experiment to simulate a natural disturbance event (e.g., storm-induced flooding) by inducing the death of established trees (coastal loblolly pine, Pinus taeda) at the marsh-upland forest ecotone. After this simulated disturbance in 2014, we monitored changes in vegetation along an elevation gradient in control and treatment areas to determine if disturbance can lead to an ecosystem shift from forested upland to wetland vegetation. Light availability initially increased in the disturbed area, leading to an increase in biodiversity of vegetation with early successional grass and shrub species. However, over the course of this 5-year experiment, there was no increase in inundation in the disturbed areas relative to the control and pine trees recolonized becoming the dominant plant cover in the disturbed study areas. Thus, in the 5 years since the disturbance, there has been no overall shift in species composition toward more hydrophytic vegetation that would be indicative of marsh transgression with the removal of trees. These findings suggest that disturbance is necessary but not sufficient alone for transgression to occur. Unless hydrological characteristics suppress tree re-growth within a period of several years following disturbance, the regenerating trees will shade and outcompete any migrating wetland vegetation species. Our results suggest that complex interactions between disturbance, biotic resistance, and slope help determine the potential for marsh transgression.

2021 ◽  
Vol 8 ◽  
Bo Kyung Kim ◽  
Misa Jeon ◽  
Hyoung Min Joo ◽  
Tae-Wan Kim ◽  
Sang-Jong Park ◽  

Rapidly changing conditions in high-latitude coastal systems can significantly impact biogeochemical cycles because these systems are strongly influenced by freshwater discharged from melting glaciers and streams on land. Generally, Antarctic coastal areas are considered high-productivity areas in which phytoplankton growth prevails under various environmental conditions (e.g., oceanographic and meteorological conditions). This study provides carbon uptake rates of phytoplankton in Marian Cove during summer (January-February 2019). Daily depth-integrated carbon uptake varied greatly and averaged 0.8 g C m–2 day–1, with a maximum of 4.52 mg g C m–2 day–1 recorded on 14 January. Similarly, the observed biomass standing stocks were very high (up to 19.5 mg m–3 chlorophyll a) and were dominated by microphytoplankton (20–200 μm), representing 84% of total chlorophyll a (chl-a). The depth-integrated chl-a and carbon uptake decreased from outer to inner areas (close to the glacial front) in the cove. As the austral summer progressed, the freshening of the surface waters coincided with high water stability and suspended material and with low productivity when nanophytoplankton were present (2–20 μm; &gt;60%). These findings suggest that both photosynthetically active radiation penetrating the water column and enhanced turbidity control light availability for phytoplankton, as well as their community compositions.

2021 ◽  
Andrew Cornwall

<p>A. aureoradiata is New Zealand’s only native cnidarian to form a phototrophic symbiosis with dinoflagellate microalgae. It is of particular interest as it can be found in estuarine mudflat habitats attached to cockles, where it spends a portion of the day submerged under the mud, either partially or completely. This scenario is very different to the situation in the tropics, where comparable symbioses (e.g. those with reef-building corals) live in brightly lit, clear waters. How A. aureoradiata maintains a stable symbiosis is therefore of considerable interest, with one potential mechanism involving the acquisition of carbon from the surrounding mud to counter the reduced availability of light and hence the reduced rate of photosynthesis.  In this thesis, I established the extent to which organic carbon in mud (especially bacteria) can be assimilated by A. aureoradiata and to what extent, if any, this carbon contributes to symbiosis nutrition and facilitates symbiosis stability under otherwise sub-optimal conditions. In the first instance, anemones were given access to¹³C glucose-labelled mud for 12 hours, in both the light and dark, and the extent of label incorporation (¹³C enrichment) in both the host and symbiont was measured by mass spectrometry. Subsequently, A. aureoradiata was starved of planktonic food for six weeks in the presence of differing quantities of unlabelled mud (‘no-mud’, ‘low-mud’ and ‘high-mud’), either with or without light, and a range of nutritional and biomass parameters measured. These included symbiont density, host protein content, and the accumulation of host lipid and symbiont starch stores.  Both the host anemone and its symbiotic algae showed signs of ¹³C uptake from the mud. Host anemones maintained in the dark assimilated more ¹³C label from the mud than did anemones incubated in the light, while the extent of label assimilation by the symbionts was unaffected by irradiance. Enhanced heterotrophic feeding in the dark is consistent with patterns reported for other symbiotic cnidarians, such as reef corals, where the host must counter the reduced availability of photosynthate from the symbiotic algae. However, the reason for the equal labelling of the symbionts in the light and dark is less clear. Nevertheless, factors such as reverse translocation in the dark (i.e. the transfer of organic carbon from host to symbiont), dark fixation of inorganic carbon, and a higher respiration rate of symbionts in the light than dark, could act either alone or in concert to produce the labelling pattern seen.  While the host and symbiont showed evidence of carbon uptake from the surrounding mud, mud quantity had no effect on either the host’s or symbiont’s storage products (% of starch in symbiont biomass, host protein content and lipid content), or on symbiont density. The lack of an effect of mud suggests that mud-derived bacteria comprise little of the host’s natural diet. In contrast, increased light availability (independent of mud availability) did lead to elevated symbiont density and symbiont starch content, consistent with the phototrophic nature of this symbiosis. More surprising was that host protein content was highest in the dark, suggesting perhaps that the symbionts were less of an energetic drain on their host when starved in the dark due to their lower population density.  In summary, my thesis provides evidence that A. aureoradiata and its symbiotic algae can use organic carbon obtained from the surrounding mud for their nutrition, but that this carbon source is of only negligible importance. These results are consistent with previous findings for the uptake and role of mud-derived nitrogen in this system. Further work to establish how this symbiosis maintains its remarkable stability under apparently sub-optimal, low-light conditions is therefore needed.</p>

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