Potential impact of photoinhibition on microphytobenthic primary production on a large intertidal mudflat
|Author(s)||Savelli Raphael1, Serôdio J.2, Cugier Philippe3, Méléder V.4, Polsenaere Pierre5, Dupuy C.1, Le Fouest V.1|
|Affiliation(s)||1 : LIttoral ENvironnement et Sociétés (LIENSs) Université de La Rochelle UMR 7266CNRS‐ULR 2 rue Olympe de Gouges17000 La Rochelle, France
2 : CESAM ‐ Universidade de Aveiro Campus Universitário de Santiago 3810‐193 Aveiro, Portugal
3 : Département Dynamiques de l'Environnement Côtier Laboratoire d'Ecologie Benthique, IFREMER 29280 Plouzané, France
4 : Mer Molécules Santé (MMS) ‐ EA 21 60 Université de Nantes Mer Molécules Santé 2 rue de la Houssinière44322Nantes Cedex, France
5 : IFREMER, Laboratoire Environnement Ressources des Pertuis Charentais (LER/PC) BP 13317390 La Tremblade, France
|Source||Journal Of Geophysical Research-biogeosciences (2169-8953) (American Geophysical Union (AGU)), 2021-09 , Vol. 126 , N. 9 , P. e2021JG006443 (16p.)|
|Keyword(s)||microphytobenthos, intertidal mudflat, primary production, photoinhibition, physical-biological coupled model|
Microphytobenthos (MPB) are a key primary producer of intertidal mudflats. MPB face strong variability in incident irradiance during low tides. Despite photoprotection and photoacclimation, such variations can translate into photoinhibition of MPB cells. This study explores the effect of photoinhibition on MPB primary production (PP) over a large and productive temperate mudflat (Brouage mudflat, NW France). We used a regional and high-resolution tri-dimensional hydrodynamic model coupled to a MPB model with or without photoinhibition. Photoinhibition leads to a 20% (-0.79 t C) decrease of the simulated MPB PP over the entire mudflat. As the upper shore is exposed to light more frequently and longer than the lower shore, the decrease of MPB PP is higher on the upper shore (-29%) than on the lower shore (-5%). With the highest photosynthetically active radiation cumulated over the mudflat, the decrease of MPB PP due to photoinhibition is the highest during spring and spring tides (-22% and -23%, respectively). The model suggests MPB photoinhibition is sensitive to the photoacclimation status of MPB cells through the light saturation parameter. This first modeling attempt to account for MPB photoinhibition is highly constrained by our current theoretical knowledge and limitations on the MPB growth physiology, but it suggests that this process can have a substantial impact on the MPB PP. As such, assessing the MPB photosynthetic response to the highly variable environmental conditions that prevail in large and productive intertidal mudflats is a real challenge for quantifying MPB PP from a synoptic to inter-annual time scale.
Plain Language Summary
Benthic micro-algae or microphytobenthos (MPB) inhabiting the surficial sediment sustain the high biological production of intertidal mudflats. MPB achieve photosynthesis by aggregating into a dense biofilm at the mud surface during daytime low tides. As MPB can be exposed to short-term variations and high light levels, they change their short-term physiology and position within the sediment to protect themselves. However, such strategies can be outbalanced by a too long stressful light exposure. In this study, we explore with a numerical model the impact of photoinhibition on MPB primary production (PP) over a large and very productive mudflat (NW France). The model suggests that photoinhibition can strongly impact MPB PP. With photoinhibition, the yearly PP decreases by 20 % over the whole mudflat. The model suggests MPB PP is sensitive to the photoacclimation status of MPB cells, i.e. their light use efficiency at a given light level. This first modeling attempt to account for MPB photoinhibition is highly constrained by our current theoretical knowledge and limitations on the MPB growth physiology, but it suggests that this process can have a substantial impact on the MPB PP.