Author Posting. © The Author(s), 2014. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of New Phytologist Trust for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in New Phytologist 205 (2015): 182-191, doi:10.1111/nph.13125.
This study explores some of the physiological mechanisms responsible for high productivity near the shelf in the Western Antarctic Peninsula despite a short growing season and cold temperature.
We measured gross and net primary production at Palmer Station during the summer 2012/2013 via three different techniques: 1) incubation with H218O; 2) incubation with 14CO2; and 3) in situ measurements of O2/Ar and triple oxygen isotope. Additional laboratory experiments were performed with the psychrophilic diatom Fragilariopsis cylindrus.
During the spring bloom, which accounted for more than half of the seasonal gross production at Palmer Station, the ratio of net to gross production reached a maximum greater than ~60%, among the highest ever reported. The use of multiple-techniques showed that these high ratios resulted from low heterotrophic respiration and very low daylight autotrophic respiration. Laboratory experiments revealed a similar ratio of net to gross O2 production in F.cylindrus and provided the first experimental evidence for an important level of cyclic electron flow (CEF) in this organism.
The low ratio of community respiration to gross primary production observed during the bloom at Palmer Station may be characteristic of high latitude coastal ecosystems and partially supported by a very active CEF in psychrophilic phytoplankton.
This study was supported by funds from the US National Science Foundation (Award numbers 1040965 and 1043593). Funding to PDT was provided by the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada.
Cyclic electron flow
Net community production
Western Antarctic Peninsula
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