Diel light cycle as a key factor for modelling phytoplankton biogeography and diversity.

Tsakalakis, Ioannis, Pahlow, Markus, Oschlies, Andreas , Blasius, Bernd and Ryabov, Alexey B. (2018) Diel light cycle as a key factor for modelling phytoplankton biogeography and diversity. Ecological Modelling, 384 . pp. 241-248. DOI 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2018.06.022.

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Understanding the mechanisms driving species biogeography and biodiversity remains a major challenge in phytoplankton ecology. Using a model of two phytoplankton species with a gleaner-opportunist trade-off and competing for light and a limiting nutrient, we show that the diel light cycle may be an essential factor to explain large-scale ecological patterns. When only the seasonal light cycle is considered (control scenario) the model predicts that, independently of the nutrient supply, gleaners should dominate across all latitudes and oppor- tunists can obtain a temporal niche only at high latitudes. However, the diel light cycle makes the competition outcome also a function of nutrient supply by affecting the amplitude of diel nutrient oscillations, with gleaners dominating when nutrient supply is low, opportunists when nutrient supply is high, and both species coexisting at intermediate levels of nutrient supply. The combined effects of seasonal and diel light cycles (diel scenario) shape a latitudinal diversity gradient with decreasing diversity towards higher latitudes and a unimodal de- pendence of diversity on nutrient supply and, therefore, on ecosystem productivity. The proposed mechanism can help interpret the biogeography of major phytoplankton functional groups in the global ocean and link them with large-scale biodiversity patterns.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: phytoplankton; biogeography; diversity; diel light cycle; nutrient oscillations; resource competition
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-BM Biogeochemical Modeling
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2018.06.022
ISSN: 0304-3800
Date Deposited: 23 Oct 2018 08:22
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2021 07:34
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/44535

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