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Nature of P limitation in the ultraoligotrophic Eastern Mediterranean

Thingstad, T.F., Krom, M.D., Mantoura, R.F.C., Flaten, G.A.F., Groom, S., Herut, B., Kress, N., Law, C.S., Pasternak, A., Pitta, P., Psarra, S., Rassoulzadegan, F., Tanaka, T., Tselepides, A., Wassmann, P., Woodward, E.M.S., Wexels Riser, C., Zodiatis, G. and Zohary, T. (2005) Nature of P limitation in the ultraoligotrophic Eastern Mediterranean. Science, 309 (5737). pp. 1068-1071. ISSN 1095-9203

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Abstract

Phosphate addition to surface waters of the ultraoligotrophic, phosphorus-starved eastern Mediterranean in a Lagrangian experiment caused unexpected ecosystem responses. The system exhibited a decline in chlorophyll and an increase in bacterial production and copepod egg abundance. Although nitrogen and phosphorus colimitation hindered phytoplankton growth, phosphorous may have been transferred through the microbial food web to copepods via two, not mutually exclusive, pathways: (i) bypass of the phytoplankton compartment by phosphorus uptake in heterotrophic bacteria and (ii) tunnelling, whereby phosphate luxury consumption rapidly shifts the stoichiometric composition of copepod prey. Copepods may thus be coupled to lower trophic levels through interactions not usually considered.

Item Type: Article
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Environment (Leeds) > School of Earth and Environment (Leeds)
The University of Leeds > Faculty of Environment (Leeds) > Earth and Biosphere Institute (Leeds)
Depositing User: Repository Officer
Date Deposited: 13 Oct 2006
Last Modified: 29 Sep 2010 14:14
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1112632
Status: Published
Publisher: American Association for the Advancement of Science
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1126/science.1112632
Related URLs:
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/1641

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