Polar Biology

, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 105–111

Light-temperature interactions in the control of photosynthesis in Antarctic phytoplankton


  • Max M. Tilzer
    • Limnologisches InstitutUniversität Konstanz
  • malte Elbrächter
    • Litoral Station ListBiologische Anstalt Helgoland
  • Winfried W. Gieskes
    • Netherlands Institute for Sea Research
  • Bärbel Beese
    • Limnologisches InstitutUniversität Konstanz

DOI: 10.1007/BF00443382

Cite this article as:
Tilzer, M.M., Elbrächter, m., Gieskes, W.W. et al. Polar Biol (1986) 5: 105. doi:10.1007/BF00443382


During October/November 1983 photosynthetic responses of natural phytoplankton from the Scotia Sea and Bransfield strait to light and temperature were examined in incubators. Both assimilation numbers at saturating light levels and the slopes of the light-limited portions of the photosynthesis versus irradiance curves were smaller than in algae from lower latitudes. However, both parameters increased significantly with rising temperatures. Light-saturated photosynthesis on the average exhibited a Q10-value of ca. 4.2 between-1.5°C and +2°C. Light-limited photosynthesis between-1.5°C and +5°C rose at a rate corresponding to a Q10-value of roughly 2.6. Above +5°C, temperature enhancement of both light-saturated and light-limited photosynthetic rates was minimal or absent. Our results suggest that under extremely low temperatures light-limited photosynthetic rates become temperature-dependent due to changes in maximum quantum yields.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1986