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The interactive effects of temperature and silicon limitation on the psychrophilic ice diatom Pseudonitzschia seriata

The interactive effects of temperature and silicon limitation on the psychrophilic ice diatom Pseudonitzschia seriata

Polar Biology 16(8): 589-594

Pseudonitzschia seriata, isolated from sea ice in the Canadian Arctic, was grown in silicon-limited batch and semi-continuous culture to determine the effects of temperature on its nutrient utilization. Resource-saturated growth rate (mu-max) increased significantly with temperature from -1.5 to 6 degree C with a Q-10 of 1.63. The efficiency of the algae in using exogenous silicic acid for growth had no significant monotonic relationship with temperature but was significantly (P lt 0.05) greater in cultures at gt 0 degree C than in those at lower temperatures. Silicic acid uptake kinetics did not differ between high and low temperatures. Silicon cell quotas were significantly higher at temperatures ltoreq 0 degree C, indicating greater silicon demand at low temperatures. P. seriata should not suffer silicon limitation in its natural ice habitat based on the observed kinetics, but its behaviour provides some support for the suggestion that temperatures ltoreq 0 degree C are associated with diminished efficiency of nutrient utilization by cold ocean microalgae.

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