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Effect of temperature on rate of photosynthesis in Antarctic phytoplankton

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Summary

The rate of photosynthesis of marine antarctic phytoplankton (western Scotia Sea and Bransfield Strait) was determined as a function of temperature, from ambient (-0.8°C to 1.0°C) to 28°C. Photosynthetic rates, based on radiocarbon incorporation during half-day incubations, were increased by as much as 2x with temperatures up to 7°C; at higher temperatures the rates decreased rapidly, so that at 28°C the rates were only 3% of that at ambient temperatures. In antarctic surface waters during the austral summer the rate of photosynthesis by phytoplankton thus is limited by thermodynamic effects on metabolic reactions, in spite of high nutrient concentrations and saturating light levels. The observed rates were in agreement with thermodynamic models of the dependence of phytoplankton growth rate on temperature.

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Neori, A., Holm-Hansen, O. Effect of temperature on rate of photosynthesis in Antarctic phytoplankton. Polar Biol 1, 33–38 (1982). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00568752

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00568752

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