Small phytoplankton dominate western North Atlantic biomass

Type Article
Date 2020-07
Language English
Author(s) Bolanos Luis M.1, Karp-Boss Lee2, Choi Chang Jae3, 4, Worden Alexandra Z.3, 4, Graff Jason R.5, Haentjens NilsORCID2, Chase Alison P.2, Della Penna Alice6, 7, Gaube Peter6, Morison Francoise8, Menden-Deuer Susanne8, Westberry Toby K.5, O'Malley Robert T.5, Boss EmmanuelORCID2, Behrenfeld Michael J.5, Giovannoni Stephen J.1
Affiliation(s) 1 : Oregon State Univ, Dept Microbiol, Corvallis, OR 97331 USA.
2 : Univ Maine, Sch Marine Sci, Orono, ME USA.
3 : Monterey Bay Aquarium Res Inst, Monterey, CA USA.
4 : GEOMAR Helmholtz Ctr Ocean Res, Ocean EcoSyst Biol Unit, Kiel, Germany.
5 : Oregon State Univ, Dept Bot & Plant Pathol, Corvallis, OR 97331 USA.
6 : Univ Washington, Appl Phys Lab, Seattle, WA 98105 USA.
7 : Inst Univ Europeen Mer, Lab Sci Environm Marin, Plouzane, France.
8 : Univ Rhode Isl, Grad Sch Oceanog, Narragansett, RI 02882 USA.
Source Isme Journal (1751-7362) (Nature Publishing Group), 2020-07 , Vol. 14 , N. 7 , P. 1663-1674
DOI 10.1038/s41396-020-0636-0
WOS© Times Cited 13

The North Atlantic phytoplankton spring bloom is the pinnacle in an annual cycle that is driven by physical, chemical, and biological seasonality. Despite its important contributions to the global carbon cycle, transitions in plankton community composition between the winter and spring have been scarcely examined in the North Atlantic. Phytoplankton composition in early winter was compared with latitudinal transects that captured the subsequent spring bloom climax. Amplicon sequence variants (ASVs), imaging flow cytometry, and flow-cytometry provided a synoptic view of phytoplankton diversity. Phytoplankton communities were not uniform across the sites studied, but rather mapped with apparent fidelity onto subpolar- and subtropical-influenced water masses of the North Atlantic. At most stations, cells < 20-mu m diameter were the main contributors to phytoplankton biomass. Winter phytoplankton communities were dominated by cyanobacteria and pico-phytoeukaryotes. These transitioned to more diverse and dynamic spring communities in which pico- and nano-phytoeukaryotes, including many prasinophyte algae, dominated. Diatoms, which are often assumed to be the dominant phytoplankton in blooms, were contributors but not the major component of biomass. We show that diverse, small phytoplankton taxa are unexpectedly common in the western North Atlantic and that regional influences play a large role in modulating community transitions during the seasonal progression of blooms.

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Bolanos Luis M., Karp-Boss Lee, Choi Chang Jae, Worden Alexandra Z., Graff Jason R., Haentjens Nils, Chase Alison P., Della Penna Alice, Gaube Peter, Morison Francoise, Menden-Deuer Susanne, Westberry Toby K., O'Malley Robert T., Boss Emmanuel, Behrenfeld Michael J., Giovannoni Stephen J. (2020). Small phytoplankton dominate western North Atlantic biomass. Isme Journal, 14(7), 1663-1674. Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :