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Aquatic Microbial Ecology

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AME 32:307-313 (2003)  -  doi:10.3354/ame032307

Using Q10: Can growth rates increase linearly with temperature?

David J. S. Montagnes*, Susan A. Kimmance, David Atkinson

School of Biological Sciences, The University of Liverpool, BioSciences Building, Crown Street, Liverpool L69 7ZB, United Kingdom

ABSTRACT: For autotrophic and heterotrophic protists, we reviewed growth rate versus temperature data (92 cases, 74 species, 36 studies), using non-linear curve-fitting methods to determine whether relationships were linear. Of the 92 cases, 67 contained sufficient data for analysis; 61 did not significantly differ from a linear response (mean slope: 0.064 ± 0.005 d-1 °C-1). Of the 25 cases that were not statistically analysed, 18 appeared linear. The mean slope of the 79 data sets considered to be linear was 0.07 ± 0.005 (d-1 °C-1). We suggest that growth rate usually responds linearly to temperature, the use of Q10 may be inappropriate, and a Q10 of 2 may arise due to this linear relationship and inappropriate experimental design.

KEY WORDS: Arrhenius · Ciliate · Diatom · Dinoflagellate · Flagellate · Meta-analysis · Model · Protist

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