Articles | Volume 17, issue 11
Research article
09 Jun 2020
Research article |  | 09 Jun 2020

A meta-analysis on environmental drivers of marine phytoplankton C : N : P

Tatsuro Tanioka and Katsumi Matsumoto

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Cited articles

Ågren, G. I.: The C:N:P stoichiometry of autotrophs – Theory and observations, Ecol. Lett., 7, 185–191,, 2004. 
Agusti, S., González-Gordillo, J. I., Vaqué, D., Estrada, M., Cerezo, M. I., Salazar, G., Gasol, J. M., and Duarte, C. M.: Ubiquitous healthy diatoms in the deep sea confirm deep carbon injection by the biological pump, Nat. Commun., 6, 7608,, 2015. 
Aranguren-Gassis, M., Kremer, C. T., Klausmeier, C. A., and Litchman, E.: Nitrogen limitation inhibits marine diatom adaptation to high temperatures, Ecol. Lett., 22, 1860–1869,, 2019. 
Arizona Software Inc.: GraphClick 3.0.2, available at: (last access: 4 June 2020), 2010. 
Arteaga, L., Pahlow, M., and Oschlies, A.: Global patterns of phytoplankton nutrient and light colimitation inferred from an optimality-based model, Global Biogeochem. Cy., 28, 648–661,, 2014. 
Short summary
We conducted an extensive literature survey (meta-analysis) on how the C : N : P ratio varies with change in key environmental drivers. We found that the expected reduction in nutrients and warming under the future climate change scenario is likely to result in increased C : P and C : N of marine phytoplankton. Further, our findings highlight the greater stoichiometric plasticity of eukaryotes over prokaryotes, which provide us insights on how to understand and model plankton.
Final-revised paper