A model-based projection of historical state of a coastal ecosystem: relevance of phytoplankton stoichiometry

Onur Kerimoglu, Fabian Große, Markus Kreus, Hermann J. Lenhart, Justus E.E. van Beusekom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We employed a coupled physical-biogeochemical modelling framework for the reconstruction of the historic (H), pre-industrial state of a coastal system, the German Bight (southeastern North Sea), and we investigated its differences with the recent, control (C) state of the system. According to our findings: i) average winter concentrations of dissolved inorganic nitrogen and phosphorus (DIN and DIP) concentrations at the surface are ∼70–90% and ∼50–70% lower in the H state than in the C state within the nearshore waters, and differences gradually diminish towards off-shore waters; ii) differences in average growing season chlorophyll a (Chl) concentrations at the surface between the two states are mostly less than 50%; iii) in the off-shore areas, Chl concentrations in the deeper layers are affected less than in the surface layers; iv) reductions in phytoplankton carbon (C) biomass under the H state are weaker than those in Chl, due to the generally lower Chl:C ratios; v) in some areas the differences in growth rates between the two states are negligible, due to the compensation by lower light limitation under the H state, which in turn explains the lower Chl:C ratios; vi) zooplankton biomass, and hence the grazing pressure on phytoplankton is lower under the H state. This trophic decoupling is caused by the low nutritional quality (i.e., low N:C and P:C) of phytoplankton. These results call for increased attention to the relevance of the acclimation capacity and stoichiometric flexibility of phytoplankton for the prediction of their response to environmental change.

LanguageEnglish
Pages1311-1323
Number of pages13
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume639
Early online date26 May 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2018

Fingerprint

Phytoplankton
Chlorophyll
stoichiometry
Stoichiometry
Ecosystems
chlorophyll a
phytoplankton
Biomass
dissolved inorganic phosphorus
Water
dissolved inorganic nitrogen
grazing pressure
biomass
acclimation
Phosphorus
surface layer
environmental change
zooplankton
Nitrogen
growing season

Keywords

  • acclimation
  • adaptation
  • eutrophication
  • pristine conditions
  • reconstruction

Cite this

Kerimoglu, Onur ; Große, Fabian ; Kreus, Markus ; Lenhart, Hermann J. ; van Beusekom, Justus E.E. / A model-based projection of historical state of a coastal ecosystem : relevance of phytoplankton stoichiometry. In: Science of the Total Environment. 2018 ; Vol. 639. pp. 1311-1323.
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A model-based projection of historical state of a coastal ecosystem : relevance of phytoplankton stoichiometry. / Kerimoglu, Onur; Große, Fabian; Kreus, Markus; Lenhart, Hermann J.; van Beusekom, Justus E.E.

In: Science of the Total Environment, Vol. 639, 15.10.2018, p. 1311-1323.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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