Assessing phytoplankton realized niches using a French National Phytoplankton Monitoring Network

Type Article
Date 2015-06
Language English
Author(s) Hernandez Farinas Tania1, Bacher CedricORCID2, Soudant DominiqueORCID1, Belin CatherineORCID1, Barille Laurent3
Affiliation(s) 1 : IFREMER, Dyneco VIGIES, F-44311 Nantes 03, France.
2 : IFREMER, Dyneco BENTHOS, F-29280 Plouzane, France.
3 : Univ Nantes, Mer Mol Sante EA 2160, Fac Sci & Tech, F-44322 Nantes 03, France.
Source Estuarine Coastal And Shelf Science (0272-7714) (Academic Press Ltd- Elsevier Science Ltd), 2015-06 , Vol. 159 , P. 15-27
DOI 10.1016/j.ecss.2015.03.010
WOS© Times Cited 43
Keyword(s) phytoplankton, environment, niche position, tolerance, kernel density, outlying mean index
Abstract Relating environmental factors to species occurrence is a fundamental step in a better understanding of the community structure, the spatial and temporal dynamics of populations and how species may respond to environmental changes. In this paper, we used phytoplankton occurrence data, from a French national phytoplankton monitoring network, and environmental variables with the aim of characterizing the realized ecological niches of phytoplankton groups. We selected 35 phytoplankton taxa representing the most important taxa in terms of occurrence frequency and abundance along the French coast of the eastern English Channel, the Southern Bight of the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. We show that environmental variables such as nutrient concentration, water temperature, irradiance and turbidity can be considered key factors controlling phytoplankton dynamics and influencing the community structure. By using a statistical framework based on an ordination technique the community structure was analyzed and interpreted in terms of niche overlap, marginality and tolerance. The most marginal taxon was Dactyliosolen and the most tolerant was Skeletonema. Non-marginal taxonomic units could be generalist and specialist, while marginal taxa were rather specialist. Specialist and marginal taxa globally showed lower values of overlap. Keywords
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