Temperature, growth metrics, and the unimodal size scaling of phytoplankton growth
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Phytoplantonic growth rate
Previous studies have shown that phytoplankton growth rates peak at intermediate cell sizes, contrary to predictions by the metabolic theory of ecology. It has been suggested that the unimodal relationship between phytoplankton cell size and growth rate may arise because the smallest species are adapted to warm temperatures. A related issue is the possibility of this size scaling pattern being sensitive to the specific metric used to determine growth rate. To test whether temperature affects the unimodal size scaling pattern, we used a double approach: 1) growing batch cultures of several species at two different temperatures (18ºC and 25ºC) to measure their growth rate, and 2) using thermal response models available in the literature to estimate the growth of each species at different temperatures. To assess the sensitivity of growth rate estimates to the metric used, we calculated growth rates based on experimental data of abundance, fluorescence, and chlorophyll, carbon and nitrogen ...
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