MEPS 383:53-71 (2009)  -  doi:10.3354/meps07961

New cell-based model of photosynthesis and photo-acclimation: accumulation and mobilisation of energy reserves in phytoplankton

Oliver N. Ross1,2,*, Richard J. Geider1

1Department of Biological Sciences, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester CO4 3SQ, UK
2Present address: Mediterranean Centre for Marine and Environmental Research (CMIMA-UTM), Pg Maritim 37–49, 08003 Barcelona, Spain

ABSTRACT: In this study, we present a new model of acclimation to light under nutrient-replete conditions based on the photo-acclimation model by Geider et al. (1998; Limnol Oceanogr 43:679–694). Rather than being solely carbon (C)-based, the new model employs the cell as the basic unit, which makes it more amenable for application in individual-based (Lagrangian) modelling approaches. The model differentiates between a functional C pool which also contains nitrogen (N) and an energy reserve pool which does not contain N. The cell-specific light-saturated photosynthetic rate is assumed to scale with the size of the functional pool, and the light-limited photosynthetic rate with the cellular chlorophyll content. Through the explicit inclusion of a C (energy) storage pool, an improved regulatory term for chlorophyll synthesis, and the addition of an optional acceleratory term, the dynamics of the model in comparison to the original model could be improved. This is demonstrated by observations during a light-shift experiment on the diatom Skeletonema costatum.


KEY WORDS: Phytoplankton · Photosynthesis · Photo-acclimation · Individual-based · Modelling


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Cite this article as: Ross ON, Geider RJ (2009) New cell-based model of photosynthesis and photo-acclimation: accumulation and mobilisation of energy reserves in phytoplankton. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 383:53-71

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