Spatio-temporal drivers of microphytoplankton community in the Bay of Biscay: do species ecological niches matter?

Type Article
Date 2021-06
Language English
Author(s) Houliez Emilie1, Lefebvre Sebastien2, Dessier Aurélie1, Huret MartinORCID3, Marquis Elise1, Bréret Martine1, Dupuy Christine1
Affiliation(s) 1 : Littoral Environnement et Sociétés (LIENSs), UMR 7266, CNRS-Université de La Rochelle, 2 rue Olympe de Gouges, 17042 La Rochelle Cedex 01, France
2 : Université de Lille, CNRS, Université du Littoral Côte d'Opale, UMR 8187, LOG, Laboratoire d'Océanologie et de Géosciences, F 62930 Wimereux, France
3 : IFREMER, Laboratoire de Biologie Halieutique, Centre Bretagne - Zl de la Pointe du Diable - CS 10070 - 29280 Plouzané
Source Progress In Oceanography (0079-6611) (Elsevier BV), 2021-06 , Vol. 194 , P. 102558 (16p.)
DOI 10.1016/j.pocean.2021.102558
WOS© Times Cited 7
Keyword(s) Ecological niche, Phytoplankton, Outlying mean index, WitOMI, Spatial processes, Zooplankton

From 2000 to 2016, substantial changes in biomass and community structure of small pelagic fish and mesozooplankton have been reported in the Bay of Biscay. Since significant relationships have been found between phytoplankton chlorophyll a and mesozooplankton as well as between phytoplankton chlorophyll a and shifts in sardine body condition, it was hypothesized that phytoplankton communities may have also been affected during this period and may have played a role in these changes. However, the available data were insufficient to validate this hypothesis and the causes of these changes remained unexplained. The present study analyzed a spatio-temporal marine microphytoplankton dataset collected during the annual PELGAS (PELagiques GAScogne) surveys from 2003 to 2014. The thorough analysis of microphytoplankton taxonomic composition, with an approach integrating the relative role of environmental conditions as well as biotic interactions and applying the concept of ecological niche, confirmed that significant modifications in microphytoplankton community structure occurred during this period. Temporal changes were stronger than spatial differences at these sampling scales. Three main periods, 2003-2005, 2006 and 2007-2014, showing different community structure, diversity and dominant taxonomic units were highlighted. Twenty eight taxonomic units were involved in these community changes. Among them, five were identified as the protagonists (Pseudo-nitzschia spp., Gymnodinium spp. + Gyrodinium spp., Leptocylindrus danicus, Leptocylindrus minimus and Chaetoceros sp.). Variations in water temperature and equivalent freshwater depth constrained the realized ecological niches of these species and explained, at least in part, changes in community structure. This study stresses the need to improve our knowledge of phytoplankton species ecological niches and to take into account biotic interactions for a thorough understanding of the processes shaping plankton communities and the resulting diversity patterns.

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Houliez Emilie, Lefebvre Sebastien, Dessier Aurélie, Huret Martin, Marquis Elise, Bréret Martine, Dupuy Christine (2021). Spatio-temporal drivers of microphytoplankton community in the Bay of Biscay: do species ecological niches matter? Progress In Oceanography, 194, 102558 (16p.). Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :