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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 426:119-131 (2011)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps09000

Non-photochemical quenching of chlorophyll fluorescence and xanthophyll cycle responses after excess PAR and UVR in Chaetoceros brevis, Phaeocystis antarctica and coastal Antarctic phytoplankton

Willem H. van de Poll1,2,*, Marcos Lagunas3,4, Tea de Vries1, Ronald J. W. Visser1, Anita G. J. Buma1

1Department of Ocean Ecosystems, Energy and Sustainability Research Institute, University of Groningen, PO Box 14,
9750 AA Haren, The Netherlands
2Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, PO Box 59, 1790 AB Den Burg (Texel), The Netherlands
3Estación de Fotobiología Playa Unión, Rawson, Playa Unión, Casilla de Correos No. 15, 9103 Chubut, Argentina
4Department of Biology, University of Victoria, PO Box 3020, Victoria, British Columbia, V8W 3N5, Canada

ABSTRACT: Sensitivity to photoinhibition from near-surface irradiance was determined in coastal phytoplankton from Potter Cove (King George Island, Antarctica) in relation to hydrographic conditions shaped by summertime meltwater influx. Slow (indicative for PSII damage) and fast (indicative for xanthophyll cycle activity) relaxing non-photochemical chlorophyll fluorescence quenching (NPQ) was measured during recovery from excess photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) and PAR + ultraviolet radiation (UVR) for 3 stations differentially affected by sediment influx. Additionally, assemblages were incubated outside to study xanthophyll cycle activity during PAR and PAR+UVR exposure. For comparison, NPQ and xanthophyll cycle activity were determined for high (125 µmol photons m–2 s–1) and low (20 µmol photons m–2 s–1) light acclimated Chaetoceros brevis (Bacillariophyceae) and Phaeocystis antarctica (Haptophyceae) cultures. Pigment analysis (CHEMTAX) revealed diatom dominance (average 74%) at all locations, with haptophytes being of minor importance (average 13%). All stations were stratified by a vertical density gradient, whereas sediment influx was significantly higher at the innermost station. Taxonomic composition, NPQ characteristics, and photoprotective pigment ratios were not different among stations. At the chlorophyll maximum, phytoplankton showed high light acclimation at all locations, and fast relaxing NPQ dominated after excess PAR and PAR+UVR. Samples from below the chlorophyll maximum were enriched in haptophytes, showed lower photoprotective pigment ratios, reduced capacity for NPQ, and increased contribution of slow relaxing NPQ. The photoprotective capacity of high and low light acclimated C. brevis and P. antarctica differed significantly. P. antarctica induced less NPQ and there was a stronger slow relaxing NPQ component than in the diatom, particularly after low light acclimation. Although total NPQ decreased and slow relaxing NPQ increased after UVR in field samples, NPQ and the xanthophyll cycle de-epoxidation state of cultures were not affected by UVR. A higher photoprotective capacity of diatoms over haptophytes may explain their dominance in stratified meltwater-affected coastal Antarctic waters.


KEY WORDS: Antarctic phytoplankton · Chlorophyll fluorescence · Non-photochemical quenching · Photoacclimation · Ultraviolet radiation · Xanthophyll cycle


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Cite this article as: van de Poll WH, Lagunas M, de Vries T, Visser RJW, Buma AGJ (2011) Non-photochemical quenching of chlorophyll fluorescence and xanthophyll cycle responses after excess PAR and UVR in Chaetoceros brevis, Phaeocystis antarctica and coastal Antarctic phytoplankton. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 426:119-131. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps09000

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