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A shifting balance: responses of mixotrophic marine algae to cooling and warming under UVR

Cabrerizo, Marco J., González‐Olalla, Juan Manuel, Hinojosa‐López, Víctor J., Peralta‐Cornejo, Francisco J., Carrillo, Presentación
Thenew phytologist 2019 v.221 no.3 pp. 1317-1327
Isochrysis galbana, algae, bacterivores, carbon, cooling, ecosystems, electron transfer, energy conservation, global change, photoperiod, photosynthesis, temperature
Mixotrophy is a dominant metabolic strategy in ecosystems worldwide. Shifts in temperature (T) and light (i.e. the ultraviolet portion of spectrum (UVR)) are key abiotic factors that modulate the conditions under which an organism is able to live. However, whether the interaction between both drivers alters mixotrophy in a global‐change context remains unassessed. To determine the T × UVR effects on relative electron transport rates, nonphotochemical quenching, bacterivory, and bacterial production, we conducted an experiment with Isochrysis galbana populations grown mixotrophically, which were exposed to 5°C of cooling and warming with respect to the control (19°C) with (or without) UVR over light–dark cycles and different timescales. At the beginning of the experiment, cooling inhibited the relative electron transport and bacterivory rates, whereas warming depressed only bacterivory regardless of the radiation treatment. By the end of the experiment, warming and UVR conditions stimulated bacterivory. These reduced relative electron transport rates (c. 50% (warming) and > 70% (cooling)) were offset by increased (35%) cumulative bacterivory rates under warming and UVR conditions. We propose that mixotrophy constitutes an energy‐saving and a compensatory mechanism to gain carbon (C) when photosynthesis is impaired, and highlight the need to consider the natural environmental changes affecting the populations when we test the impacts of interacting global‐change drivers.