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Jie Zhu, Qiang Hao, Wei Zhang, Yingying Ma, Jiangning Zeng. Effects of nutrient limitations on the sinking velocity of Thalassiosira weissflogii[J]. Acta Oceanologica Sinica. doi: 10.1007/s13131-024-2309-8
Citation: Jie Zhu, Qiang Hao, Wei Zhang, Yingying Ma, Jiangning Zeng. Effects of nutrient limitations on the sinking velocity of Thalassiosira weissflogii[J]. Acta Oceanologica Sinica. doi: 10.1007/s13131-024-2309-8

Effects of nutrient limitations on the sinking velocity of Thalassiosira weissflogii

doi: 10.1007/s13131-024-2309-8
Funds:  The Key R&D Program of Zhejiang under contract No. 2023C03120; the Science Foundation of Donghai Laboratory under contract No. DH-2022KF0215; the National Key Research and Development Program of China under contract No. 2021YFC3101702; the National Programme on Global Change and Air-Sea Interaction (Phase II)—Hypoxia and Acidification Monitoring Warning Project in the Changjiang Estuary, and Long-term Observation and Research Plan in the Changjiang Estuary and Adjacent East China Sea (LORCE) Project under contract No. SZ2001.
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  • Corresponding author: E-mail: jiangningz@126.com
  • Received Date: 2023-09-17
  • Accepted Date: 2024-01-15
  • Available Online: 2024-04-29
  • The sinking of diatoms is critical to the formation of oceanic biological pumps and coastal hypoxic zones. However, little is known about the effects of different nutrient restrictions on diatom sinking. In this study, we measured the sinking velocity (SV) of Thalassiosira weissflogii using a new phytoplankton video observation instrument and analyzed major biochemical components under varying nutrient conditions. Our results showed that the SV of T. weissflogii under different nutrient limitation conditions varied substantially. The highest SV of (1.77 ± 0.02) m/d was obtained under nitrate limitation, significantly surpassing that under phosphate limitation at (0.98 ± 0.13) m/d. As the nutrient limitation was released, the SV steadily decreased to (0.32 ± 0.03) m/d and (0.15 ± 0.05) m/d, respectively. Notably, under conditions with limited nitrate and phosphate concentrations, the SV values of T. weissflogii significantly positively correlated with the lipid content (P < 0.001), with R2 values of 0.86 and 0.69, respectively. The change of the phytoplankton SV was primarily related to the intracellular composition, which is controlled by nutrient conditions but did not significantly correlate with transparent extracellular polymer and biosilica contents. The results of this study help to understand the regulation of the vertical sinking process of diatoms by nutrient restriction and provide new insights into phytoplankton dynamics and their relationship with the marine nutrient structure.
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