Fulfilling iron requirements of a coastal diatom under different temperatures and irradiances

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)925-935
Journal / PublicationLimnology and Oceanography
Issue number2
Online published10 Mar 2006
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2006
Externally publishedYes


The strategies used by a coastal diatom, Thalassiosira pseudonana, for potentially different iron (Fe) requirements under different temperatures and irradiances were examined on the basis of three parameters: Fe uptake rate, cell-specific growth rate, and Fe efflux rate constant. These three variables determined the cellular Fe concentration, and they were all quantified under different temperatures and irradiances during long-term (days) and short-term (hours) 59Fe exposures. Results obtained from both exposures were consistent. Although more Fe was required under the lower irradiance, Fe uptake rate decreased 1.78X and 2.20X as the irradiance decreased from 340 to 40 μmol photons m-2 s-1 when measured by short- and long-term exposures, respectively. Under this condition, the cell-specific growth rate decreased from 1.30-1.50 to 0.51-0.63 d-1 to keep a relatively high intracellular Fe concentration under lower irradiance. The opposite trend was observed for temperature. The higher Fe requirement at higher temperature was fulfilled mainly through an increase of Fe uptake rate with increasing temperature. For example, the Fe uptake rate increased by 1.21X and 2.55X as the temperature increased from 15°C to 24°C in the short- and long-term exposures, respectively. In contrast, the cell-specific growth rate was relatively constant (0.92-1.06 d-1) under these three temperatures. Fe efflux from the diatoms was significant, with an efflux rate constant ranging from 0.008 to 0.017 h-1. Such a high Fe efflux suggested that it should not be neglected in the calculation of intracellular Fe concentration. Furthermore, Fe efflux might be an important process for Fe regeneration in surface seawater. However, Fe efflux had a negligible effect on the different Fe requirements under different temperatures and irradiances. © 2006, by the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography, Inc.