Niche Partitioning Among Prochlorococcus Ecotypes Along Ocean-Scale Environmental Gradients
Johnson ZI, Zinser ER, Coe A, McNulty NP, Woodward EM, Chisholm SW
Science. 2006 Mar 24;311(5768):1737-40.
is the numerically dominant phytoplankter in the
oligotrophic oceans, accounting for up to half of the photosynthetic
biomass and production in some regions. Here, we describe how the
abundance of six known ecotypes, which have small subunit ribosomal RNA
sequences that differ by less than 3%, changed along local and basin-wide
environmental gradients in the Atlantic Ocean. Temperature was
significantly correlated with shifts in ecotype abundance, and laboratory
experiments confirmed different temperature optima and tolerance ranges
for cultured strains. Light, nutrients, and competitor abundances also
appeared to play a role in shaping different distributions.
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