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Influence of UV-B radiation on nitrogen utilization by a natural assemblage of phytoplankton

TitreInfluence of UV-B radiation on nitrogen utilization by a natural assemblage of phytoplankton
Type de publicationJournal Article
Year of Publication2000
AuteursFauchot, J, Gosselin, M, Levasseur, M, Mostajir, B, Belzile, C, Demers, S, Roy, S, Villegas, PZ
Date Published{JUN}
Type of Article{Article}
Mots-clésmesocosm experiment, nitrate uptake, Phytoplankton, urea uptake, UV-B radiation}, {ammonium uptake

{A 7-day mesocosm experiment was conducted in July 1996 to investigate the effects of ambient UV-B radiation (UVBR) exclusion and two UVBR enhancements above ambient levels on NO3-, NH4+ and urea utilization in a natural plankton community (< 240 mu m) from the Lower St. Lawrence Estuary, The phytoplankton community was dominated by diatoms during the first 3 days and, afterward, by flagellates and dinoflagellates. The results of 4-h incubations just below the water surface show that, compared with ambient UVBR conditions, UVBR exclusion generally increased NO3-, NH4+, and urea uptakes, During the last 4 days of the experiment, the percent increase in the specific uptake rate of urea under excluded UVBR conditions varied between 17% and 130% and was a linear function of the ambient UVBR dose removed. During the first 3 days, the phytoplankton community dominated by diatoms was able to withstand UVBR enhancements without any perceptible effect on nitrogen uptake. However, during the post-diatom bloom period, UVBR enhancements resulted in decreases in NO3-, NH4+, and urea uptake compared with ambient UVBR conditions. The reduction of urea uptake under UVBR enhancements during the last 3 days varied between 23% and 64% and was linearly related to the enhanced UVBR dose. However, the different UVBR treatments did not affect the internal organic nitrogen composition (internal urea, free amino acids, and proteins) of the phytoplankton community experiencing vertical mixing in the mesocosms, The discrepancy between short-term uptake measurements at the surface and long-term effects iu the mesocosms emphasizes the importance of vertical mixing on UVBR effects in natural ecosystems. This suggests that an increase in ambient UVBR would have a minimal effect on nitrogen utilization by natural phytoplankton assemblages if these are vertically mixed.}