Estuaries and Coasts
A multi-year study was conducted in the eutrophic Lafayette River, a sub-tributary of the lower Chesapeake Bay during which uptake of inorganic and organic nitrogen (N) and C compounds was measured during multiple seasons and years when different dinoflagellate species were dominant. Seasonal dinoflagellate blooms included a variety of mixotrophic dinoflagellates including Heterocapsa triquetra in the late winter, Prorocentrum minimum in the spring, Akashiwo sanguinea in the early summer, and Scrippsiella trochoidea and Cochlodinium polykrikoides in late summer and fall. Results showed that no single N source fueled algal growth, rather rates of N and C uptake varied on seasonal and diurnal timescales, and within blooms as they initiated and developed. Rates of photosynthetic C uptake were low yielding low assimilation numbers during much of the study period and the ability to assimilate dissolved organic carbon augmented photosynthetic C uptake during bloom and non-bloom periods. The ability to use dissolved organic C during the day and night may allow mixotrophic bloom organisms a competitive advantage over co-occurring phytoplankton that are restricted to photoautotrophic growth, obtaining N and C during the day and in well-lit surface waters.
Original Publication Citation
Mulholland, M. R., Morse, R., Egerton, T., Bernhardt, P. W., & Filippino, K. C. (2018). Blooms of dinoflagellate mixotrophs in a lower Chesapeake Bay tributary: Carbon and nitrogen uptake over diurnal, seasonal, and interannual timescales. Estuaries and Coasts, 41(6), 1744-1765. doi:10.1007/s12237-018-0388-
Mulholland, Margaret R.; Morse, Ryan; Egerton, Todd; Bernhardt, Peter W.; and Filippino, K. C., "Blooms of Dinoflagellate Mixotrophs in a Lower Chesapeake Bay Tributary: Carbon and Nitrogen Uptake over Diurnal, Seasonal, and Interannual Timescales" (2018). OEAS Faculty Publications. 318.
0000-0001-8819-189X (Mulholland), 0000-0002-0854-2723 (Morse), 0000-0002-0341-7915 (Egerton)