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Microbial Ecology

, Volume 57, Issue 4, pp 675–686 | Cite as

Interaction Effects of Ambient UV Radiation and Nutrient Limitation on the Toxic Cyanobacterium Nodularia spumigena

  • Malin Mohlin
  • Angela Wulff
Original Article

Abstract

Nodularia spumigena is one of the dominating species during the extensive cyanobacterial blooms in the Baltic Sea. The blooms coincide with strong light, stable stratification, low ratios of dissolved inorganic nitrogen, and dissolved inorganic phosphorus. The ability of nitrogen fixation, a high tolerance to phosphorus starvation, and different photo-protective strategies (production of mycosporine-like amino acids, MAAs) may give N. spumigena a competitive advantage over other phytoplankton during the blooms. To elucidate the interactive effects of ambient UV radiation and nutrient limitation on the performance of N. spumigena, an outdoor experiment was designed. Two radiation treatments photosynthetic active radiation (PAR) and PAR +UV-A + UV-B (PAB) and three nutrient treatments were established: nutrient replete (NP), nitrogen limited (−N), and phosphorus limited (−P). Variables measured were specific growth rate, heterocyst frequency, cell volume, cell concentrations of MAAs, photosynthetic pigments, particulate carbon (POC), particulate nitrogen (PON), and particulate phosphorus (POP). Ratios of particulate organic matter were calculated: POC/PON, POC/POP, and PON/POP. There was no interactive effect between radiation and nutrient limitation on the specific growth rate of N. spumigena, but there was an overall effect of phosphorus limitation on the variables measured. Interaction effects were observed for some variables; cell size (larger cells in −P PAB compared to other treatments) and the carotenoid canthaxanthin (highest concentration in −N PAR). In addition, significantly less POC and PON (mol cell−1) were found in −P PAR compared to −P PAB, and the opposite radiation effect was observed in −N. Our study shows that despite interactive effects on some of the variables studied, N. spumigena tolerate high ambient UVR also under nutrient limiting conditions and maintain positive growth rate even under severe phosphorus limitation.

Keywords

Specific Growth Rate Photosynthetic Active Radiation Nutrient Limitation Dissolve Inorganic Phosphorus Phosphorus Limitation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgment

We thank V. Lindberg, H. Olofsdotter-Mossfeldt, and M. Appelgren for assistance with experimental work, and Dr P. Moksnes and Prof. P. Jonsson for advice on the statistical analyses. We are grateful to Prof. P. Jonsson for valuable comments on the manuscript. STRÅNG data used here are from the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute and were produced with support from the Swedish Radiation Protection Authority and the Swedish Environmental Agency. Financial support was provided by The Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning; The Oscar and Lilli Lamm Foundation; The Carl Trygger Foundation; The Magnus Bergvall Foundation; The Lars Hierta Foundation; and The Research Fund of Martina Lundgren.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Marine Ecology, Marine BotanyUniversity of GothenburgGöteborgSweden

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