Along with increasing oceanic CO2 concentrations, enhanced stratification constrains phytoplankton to shallower upper mixed layers with altered light regimes and nutrient concentrations. Here, we investigate the effects of elevated pCO2 in combination with light or nitrogen-limitation on 13C fractionation (epsilon p) in four dinoflagellate species. We cultured Gonyaulax spinifera and Protoceratium reticulatum in dilute batches under low-light (LL) and high-light (HL) conditions, and grew Alexandrium fundyense and Scrippsiella trochoidea in nitrogen-limited continuous cultures (LN) and nitrogen-replete batches (HN). The observed CO2-dependency of epsilon p remained unaffected by the availability of light for both G. spinifera and P. reticulatum, though at HL epsilon p was consistently lower by about 2.7 per mil over the tested CO2 range for P. reticulatum. This may reflect increased uptake of (13C-enriched) bicarbonate fueled by increased ATP production under HL conditions. The observed CO2-dependency of epsilon p disappeared under LN conditions in both A. fundyense and S. trochoidea. The generally higher epsilon p under LN may be associated with lower organic carbon production rates and/or higher ATP:NADPH ratios. CO2-dependent epsilon p under non-limiting conditions has been observed in several dinoflagellate species, showing potential for a new CO2-proxy. Our results however demonstrate that light- and nitrogen-limitation also affect epsilon p, thereby illustrating the need to carefully consider prevailing environmental conditions.
In order to allow full comparability with other ocean acidification data sets, the R package seacarb (Gattuso et al, 2015) 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 is 2016-06-15.
Supplement to: Hoins, Mirja; Eberlein, Tim; Großmann, Christian H; Brandenburg, Karen; Reichart, Gert-Jan; Rost, Björn; Sluijs, Appy; Van de Waal, Dedmer B (2016): Combined effects of ocean acidification and light or nitrogen availabilities on 13C fractionation in marine dinoflagellates. PLoS ONE, 11(5), e0154370