Journal cover Journal topic
Biogeosciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Journal topic
Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2019-311
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2019-311
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 15 Aug 2019

Submitted as: research article | 15 Aug 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Biogeosciences (BG).

Dimensions of Marine Phytoplankton Diversity

Stephanie Dutkiewicz1,2, Pedro Cermeno3, Oliver Jahn1, Michael J. Follows1, Anna E. Hickman4, Darcy A. A. Taniguchi5, and Ben A. Ward4 Stephanie Dutkiewicz et al.
  • 1Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, 02139, USA
  • 2Center for Climate Change Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, 02139, USA
  • 3Institut de Ciencies del Mar, CSIC, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
  • 4Ocean and Earth Sciences, University of Southampton, National Oceanography Centre Southampton, Southampton, SO14 3ZH, UK
  • 5Department of Biological Sciences, California State University San Marcos, San Marcos, CA, 92096 USA

Abstract. Biodiversity of phytoplankton is important for ecosystem stability and marine biogeochemistry. However, the large scale patterns of diversity are not well understood, and are often poorly characterized in terms of statistical relationships with environmental factors (e.g. latitude, temperature, productivity). Here we use ecological theory and a global trait-based ecosystem model to provide mechanistic understanding of patterns of phytoplankton diversity. Our study suggests that phytoplankton diversity across three dimensions of trait space (size, biogeochemical function, and thermal tolerance) is controlled by a disparate combinations of drivers: the supply rate of the limiting resource, the imbalance in different resource supplies relative to competing phytoplanktons’ demands, size-selective grazing, and transport by the moving ocean. Using sensitivity studies we show that each dimension of diversity is controlled by different drivers. Models including only one (or two) of the trait dimensions will have different patterns of diversity than one which incorporates another trait dimension. We use the results of our theory/model exploration to infer the controls on the diversity patterns derived from field observations in meridional transects of the Atlantic and to explain why different taxa and size classes have differing patterns. These results suggest that it is unlikely that any single or even combination of environmental variables will be able to explain patterns of diversity.

Stephanie Dutkiewicz et al.
Interactive discussion
Status: open (until 29 Sep 2019)
Status: open (until 29 Sep 2019)
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
[Subscribe to comment alert] Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version Supplement - Supplement
Stephanie Dutkiewicz et al.
Data sets

Diversity Model Output S. Dutkiewicz https://doi.org/10.7910/DVN/JUQCFG

Model code and software

Diversity Model Code S. Dutkiewicz and O. Jahn https://doi.org/10.7910/DVN/EOTT9H

Stephanie Dutkiewicz et al.
Viewed  
Total article views: 327 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)
HTML PDF XML Total Supplement BibTeX EndNote
251 74 2 327 12 1 4
  • HTML: 251
  • PDF: 74
  • XML: 2
  • Total: 327
  • Supplement: 12
  • BibTeX: 1
  • EndNote: 4
Views and downloads (calculated since 15 Aug 2019)
Cumulative views and downloads (calculated since 15 Aug 2019)
Viewed (geographical distribution)  
Total article views: 256 (including HTML, PDF, and XML) Thereof 255 with geography defined and 1 with unknown origin.
Country # Views %
  • 1
1
 
 
 
 
Cited  
Saved  
No saved metrics found.
Discussed  
No discussed metrics found.
Latest update: 19 Sep 2019
Publications Copernicus
Download
Short summary
Phytoplankton are an essential component of the marine foodweb and the earth’s carbon cycle. We use observations, ecological theory and a unique trait-based ecosystem model to explain controls on patterns of marine phytoplankton biodiversity. We find that different dimensions of diversity (size classes, biogeochemical functional groups, thermal norms) are controlled by disparate combination of mechanisms. This may explains why previous studies of phytoplankton diversity had conflicting results.
Phytoplankton are an essential component of the marine foodweb and the earth’s carbon cycle....
Citation