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https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2020-314
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2020-314
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  04 Sep 2020

04 Sep 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal BG.

Modelling Silicate – Nitrate - Ammonium co-limitation of algal growth and the importance of bacterial remineralisation based on an experimental Arctic coastal spring bloom culture study

Tobias R. Vonnahme1, Martial Leroy2, Silke Thoms3, Dick van Oevelen4, H. Rodger Harvey5, Svein Kristiansen1, Rolf Gradinger1, Ulrike Dietrich1, and Christoph Voelker3 Tobias R. Vonnahme et al.
  • 1Department of Arctic and Marine Biology, UiT – The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø, Norway
  • 2Université Grenoble Alpes, Grenoble, France
  • 3Alfred-Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven, Germany
  • 4Department of Estuarine and Delta Systems, NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, and Utrecht University, Texel, Yerseke, the Netherlands
  • 5Department of Ocean and Earth Sciences, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, USA

Abstract. Arctic coastal ecosystems are rapidly changing due to climate warming, which makes modelling their productivity crucially important to better understand future changes. System primary production in these systems is highest during the pronounced spring bloom, typically dominated by diatoms. Eventually the spring blooms terminate due to silicon or nitrogen limitation. Bacteria can play an important role for extending bloom duration and total CO2 fixation through ammonium regeneration. Current ecosystem models often simplify the effects of nutrient co-limitations on algal physiology and cellular ratios and neglect bacterial driven regeneration, leading to an underestimation of primary production. Detailed biochemistry- and cell-based models can represent these dynamics but are difficult to tune in the environment. We performed a cultivation experiment that showed typical spring bloom dynamics, such as extended algal growth via bacteria ammonium remineralisation, and reduced algal growth and inhibited chlorophyll synthesis under silicate limitation, and gradually reduced nitrogen assimilation and chlorophyll synthesis under nitrogen limitation. We developed a simplified dynamic model to represent these processes. The model also highlights the importance of organic matter excretion, and post bloom ammonium accumulation. Overall, model complexity is comparable to other ecosystem models used in the Arctic while improving the representation of nutrient co-limitation related processes. Such model enhancements that now incorporate increased nutrient inputs and higher mineralization rates in a warmer climate will improve future predictions in this vulnerable system.

Tobias R. Vonnahme et al.

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Replication Data for: Modelling Silicate – Nitrate - Ammonium co-limitation of algal growth and the importance of bacterial remineralisation based on an experimental Arctic coastal spring bloom culture study Tobias R. Vonnahme https://doi.org/10.18710/VA4IU9

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Short summary
Diatoms are crucial for Arctic coastal spring blooms and their growth iscontrolled by nutrients and light. At the end of the bloom inorganic nitrogen or silicon can limit be limiting, but nitrogen can be regenerated by bacteria, extending the growth phase. Modelling these multi-nutrient dynamics and the role of bacteria is challenging, yet crucial for accurate modelling. We recreated spring bloom dynamics in a cultivation experiment and developed a representative dynamic model.
Diatoms are crucial for Arctic coastal spring blooms and their growth iscontrolled by nutrients...
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