Get access

PRODUCTION OF MUCILAGE BY THE ADRIATIC EPIPELIC DIATOM CYLINDROTHECA CLOSTERIUM (BACILLARIOPHYCEAE) UNDER NUTRIENT LIMITATION

Authors

  • Teresa Alcoverro,

    Corresponding author
    1. Centre d'Estudis Avançats de Blanes (CSIC), Carretera Sta. Bàrbara s/n, 17300 Blanes, Spain and Laboratorio di
      Ecologia del Benthos (SZN), Punta S. Pietro, I-80077 Ischia Porto, Napoli, Italy
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Ersilia Conte,

    1. Laboratorio di Ecologia del Benthos (SZN), Punta S. Pietro, I-80077 Ischia Porto, Napoli, Italy
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Lucia Mazzella

    1. Laboratorio di Ecologia del Benthos (SZN), Punta S. Pietro, I-80077 Ischia Porto, Napoli, Italy
    Search for more papers by this author

Author for correspondence: e-mail teresa@ceab.csic.es

Abstract

The carbon partitioning of the epipelic diatom Cylindrotheca closterium (Ehrenberg) Reiman and Lewin isolated from the Adriatic Sea was studied in the laboratory under varying scenarios of nutrient limitation. Total number of cells, photosynthesis measured at 695 μmol photons·m2·s1 irradiance (P695-μmol), chlorophyll (a+c) content, respiration, extracellular polymeric substances (EPS), total particulate carbohydrate (TPC), and dissolved carbohydrate were evaluated under nitrogen and phosphorus deficiencies in culture. The highest total number of cells was found in the control, whereas the nitrogen-limited treatment showed the lowest value. During the transition phase of growth, photosynthesis in the nitrogen-limited treatment was 3-fold lower than in the phosphorus-limited treatment and 4-fold lower than in the control. Differences in respiration rates and chlorophyll (a+c) content were even more marked. Dissolved carbohydrate remained the same in all the treatments, whereas during the transition and stationary phase, EPS presented the highest values under phosphorus limitation and the lowest in the control treatment. The production of EPS was closely linked to the periods of carbon assimilation (transition phase) in the nutrient depleted treatments, especially in the phosphorus-limited treatment. These results point out the relevance of the nutrient imbalance (nitrogen or phosphorus) in the production of EPS by the benthic or resuspended diatoms and suggest that these diatoms play an important role in nutrient-unbalanced systems like sediments or marine snow.

Ancillary