AME - Vol. 51, No. 1 - Feature article

TEP excretions by Lepidodinium chlorophorum staining with alcian blue. Photo: P. Claquin

Claquin P, Probert I, Lefebvre S,
Veron B

 

Effects of temperature on photosynthetic parameters and TEP production in eight species of marine microalgae

 

Microalgae excrete polysaccharides which are the main source for the formation of transparent exopolymeric particles (TEPs) that are heavily implicated in biogeochemical cycling in the marine environment, notably through involvement in aggregation mechanisms. We quantified the effect of temperature on photosynthesis and TEP production in a variety of marine microalgae. The proportion of fixed carbon excreted and forming TEPs was substantial (71%) for a dinoflagellate, while it was 7 to 30% for other species. A coupling was found between photosynthetic activity and TEP production in diatoms, demonstrating that carbon excretion is not mediated solely by nutrient stress. Temperature increase would amplify TEP production (and hence particle aggregation) for some microalgae (notably diatoms), but this effect would not be universal.

 

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