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Biogeosciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2019-359
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2019-359
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: reviews and syntheses 27 Sep 2019

Submitted as: reviews and syntheses | 27 Sep 2019

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

Salinity-depending carbon and nitrogen uptake of two intertidal foraminifera (Ammonia tepida and Haynesina germanica)

Michael Lintner1, Bianca Biedrawa1, Julia Wukovits1, Wolfgang Wanek2, and Petra Heinz1 Michael Lintner et al.
  • 1University of Vienna, Department of Palaeontology, Vienna, Austria
  • 2University of Vienna, Department of Microbiology and Ecosystem Science, Terrestrial Ecosystem Research, Vienna, Austria

Abstract. Benthic foraminifera are abundant marine protists which play an important role in the transfer of energy in the form of organic matter and nutrients to higher trophic levels. Due to their aquatic lifestyle, factors such as water temperature, salinity and pH are key drivers controlling biomass turnover through foraminifera. In this study the influence of salinity on the feeding activity of foraminifera was tested. Two species, Ammonia tepida and Haynesina germanica, were collected from a mudflat in northern Germany (Friedrichskoog) and cultured in the laboratory at 20 °C and a light/dark cycle of 16:8 h. A lyophilized algal powder from Dunaliella tertiolecta, which was isotopically enriched with 13C and 15N, was used as a food source. The feeding experiments were carried out at salinity levels of 11, 24 and 37 practical salinity units (PSU) and were terminated after 1, 5 and 14 days. The quantification of isotope incorporation was carried out by isotope ratio mass spectrometry. Ammonia tepida exhibited a 10-fold higher food uptake compared to H. germanica. Furthermore, in A. tepida the food uptake increased with increasing salinity but not in H. germanica. Over time (from 1–5 d to 14 d) food C retention increased relative to food N in A. tepida while the opposite was observed for H. germanica. This shows, that if the salinity in the German Wadden Sea increases, A. tepida is predicted to exhibit a higher C and N uptake and turnover than H. germanica, with accompanying changes in C and N cycling through the foraminiferal community. The results of this study show how complex and differently food C and N processing of foraminiferal species respond to time and to environmental conditions such as salinity.

Michael Lintner et al.
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Status: open (until 08 Nov 2019)
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Michael Lintner et al.
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Short summary
Foraminifera are unicellular marine organisms that play an important role in the marine element cycle. Changes of environmental parameters such as salinity or temperature have a significant impact on the faunal assemblages. Our experiments show, that changing salinity in the German Wadden Sea immediately influences the foraminiferal community. It seems that A. tepida is better adapted to salinity fluctuations than H. germanica.
Foraminifera are unicellular marine organisms that play an important role in the marine element...
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