Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2015
Nitrogen fixation by cyanobacteria stimulates production in Baltic food-websKarlson, Agnes M. L.; Duberg, Jon; Motwani, Nisha H.; Hogfors, Hedvig; Klawonn, Isabell; Ploug, Helle; Sveden, Jennie Barthel; Garbaras, Andrius; Sundelin, Brita; Hajdu, Susanna; Larsson, Ulf; Elmgren, Ragnar; Gorokhova, Elena
AbstractFilamentous, nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria form extensive summer blooms in the Baltic Sea. Their ability to fix dissolved N-2 allows cyanobacteria to circumvent the general summer nitrogen limitation, while also generating a supply of novel bioavailable nitrogen for the food web. However, the fate of the nitrogen fixed by cyanobacteria remains unresolved, as does its importance for secondary production in the Baltic Sea. Here, we synthesize recent experimental and field studies providing strong empirical evidence that cyanobacterial nitrogen is efficiently assimilated and transferred in Baltic food webs via two major pathways: directly by grazing on fresh or decaying cyanobacteria and indirectly through the uptake by other phytoplankton and microbes of bioavailable nitrogen exuded from cyanobacterial cells. This information is an essential step toward guiding nutrient management to minimize noxious blooms without overly reducing secondary production, and ultimately most probably fish production in the Baltic Sea.
KeywordsDiazotrophic cyanobacteria; Food webs; Zooplankton grazing; Secondary production; Fish
Published inAMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment
2015, volume: 44, number: Suppl 3, pages: S413-S426
Karlson, Agnes M. L.
Motwani, Nisha H
AquaBiota Water Research
University of Gothenburg
Barthel Svedén, Jennie
Center for Physical Sciences and Technology (FTMC)
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