5 years ago

Student's tutorial on bloom hypotheses in the context of phytoplankton annual cycles

Student's tutorial on bloom hypotheses in the context of phytoplankton annual cycles
Emmanuel S. Boss, Michael J. Behrenfeld
Phytoplankton blooms are elements in repeating annual cycles of phytoplankton biomass and they have significant ecological and biogeochemical consequences. Temporal changes in phytoplankton biomass are governed by complex predator–prey interactions and physically driven variations in upper water column growth conditions (light, nutrient, and temperature). Understanding these dependencies is fundamental to assess future change in bloom frequency, duration, and magnitude and thus represents a quintessential challenge in global change biology. A variety of contrasting hypotheses have emerged in the literature to explain phytoplankton blooms, but over time the basic tenets of these hypotheses have become unclear. Here, we provide a “tutorial” on the development of these concepts and the fundamental elements distinguishing each hypothesis. The intent of this tutorial is to provide a useful background and set of tools for reading the bloom literature and to give some suggestions for future studies. Our tutorial is written for “students” at all stages of their career. We hope it is equally useful and interesting to those with only a cursory interest in blooms as those deeply immersed in the challenge of understanding the temporal dynamics of phytoplankton biomass and predicting its future change. Phytoplankton blooms play a major role in aquatic biogeochemistry and ecology and represent a quintessential challenge in global change biology. This manuscript provides a tutorial on basic hypothesis regarding bloom regulation and an outlook on future studies to advance understanding.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1111/gcb.13858

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