Interactive effects of ocean acidification and nitrogen limitation on the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum, supplement to: Li, Wei; Gao, Kunshan; Beardall, John (2012): Interactive Effects of Ocean Acidification and Nitrogen-Limitation on the Diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum. PLoS ONE, 7(12), e51590


Climate change is expected to bring about alterations in the marine physical and chemical environment that will induce changes in the concentration of dissolved CO2 and in nutrient availability. These in turn are expected to affect the physiological performance of phytoplankton. In order to learn how phytoplankton respond to the predicted scenario of increased CO2 and decreased nitrogen in the surface mixed layer, we investigated the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum as a model organism. The cells were cultured in both low CO2 (390 µatm) and high CO2 (1000 µatm) conditions at limiting (10 µmol/L) or enriched (110 µmol/L) nitrate concentrations. Our study shows that nitrogen limitation resulted in significant decreases in cell size, pigmentation, growth rate and effective quantum yield of Phaeodactylum tricornutum, but these parameters were not affected by enhanced dissolved CO2 and lowered pH. However, increased CO2 concentration induced higher rETRmax and higher dark respiration rates and decreased the CO2 or dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) affinity for electron transfer (shown by higher values for K1/2 DIC or K1/2 CO2). Furthermore, the elemental stoichiometry (carbon to nitrogen ratio) was raised under high CO2 conditions in both nitrogen limited and nitrogen replete conditions, with the ratio in the high CO2 and low nitrate grown cells being higher by 45% compared to that in the low CO2 and nitrate replete grown ones. Our results suggest that while nitrogen limitation had a greater effect than ocean acidification, the combined effects of both factors could act synergistically to affect marine diatoms and related biogeochemical cycles in future oceans.

In order to allow full comparability with other ocean acidification data sets, the R package seacarb (Lavigne and Gattuso, 2011) was used to compute a complete and consistent set of carbonate system variables, as described by Nisumaa et al. (2010). In this dataset the original values were archived in addition with the recalculated parameters (see related PI). The date of carbonate chemistry calculation by seacarb is 2013-11-20.

Related Identifier
Related Identifier
Metadata Access
Creator Li, Wei; Gao, Kunshan; Beardall, John
Publisher PANGAEA - Data Publisher for Earth & Environmental Science
Contributor Yang, Yan
Publication Year 2012
Rights Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported;
OpenAccess true
Language English
Resource Type Supplementary Dataset; Dataset
Format text/tab-separated-values
Size 29292 data points
Discipline Earth System Research