Author for correspondence: e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
A PHYLOGENETIC APPROACH TO THE ESTIMATION OF PHYTOPLANKTON TRAITS1
Article first published online: 15 FEB 2011
© 2011 Phycological Society of America
Journal of Phycology
Volume 47, Issue 1, pages 52–65, February 2011
How to Cite
Bruggeman, J. (2011), A PHYLOGENETIC APPROACH TO THE ESTIMATION OF PHYTOPLANKTON TRAITS. Journal of Phycology, 47: 52–65. doi: 10.1111/j.1529-8817.2010.00946.x
Received 8 January 2010. Accepted 23 August 2010.
- Issue published online: 18 FEB 2011
- Article first published online: 15 FEB 2011
- comparative method;
- parameter estimation;
The quantitative characterization of the ecology of individual phytoplankton taxa is essential for model resolution of many aspects of aquatic ecosystems. Existing literature cannot directly parameterize all phytoplankton taxa of interest, as many traits and taxa have not been sampled. However, valuable clues on the value of traits are found in the evolutionary history of species and in common correlations between traits. These two resources were exploited with an existing, statistically consistent method built upon evolutionary concepts. From a new data set with >700 observations on freshwater phytoplankton traits and a qualitative phytoplankton phylogeny, estimates were derived for the size, growth rate, phosphate affinity, and susceptibility to predation of 277 phytoplankton types, from evolutionary ancestors to present-day species. These estimates account simultaneously for phylogenetic relationships between types, as imposed by the phylogeny, and approximate power-law relationships (e.g., allometric scaling laws) between traits, as reconstructed from the data set. Results suggest that most phytoplankton traits are to some extent conserved in evolution: cross-validation demonstrated that the use of phylogenetic information significantly improves trait value estimates. By providing trait value estimates as well as uncertainties, these results could benefit most quantitative studies involving phytoplankton.