High cell-specific rates of nitrogen and carbon fixation by the cyanobacterium Aphanizomenon sp. at low temperatures in the Baltic Sea.

Abstract

Aphanizomenon is a widespread genus of nitrogen (N2)-fixing cyanobacteria in lakes and estuaries, accounting for a large fraction of the summer N2-fixation in the Baltic Sea. However, information about its cell-specific carbon (C)- and N2-fixation rates in the early growth season has not previously been reported. We combined various methods to study N2-fixation, photosynthesis and respiration in field-sampled Baltic Sea Aphanizomenon sp. during early summer at 10°C. Stable isotope incubations at in situ light intensities during 24 h combined with cell-specific secondary ion mass spectrometry showed an average net N2-fixation rate of 55 fmol N cell(-1) day(-1). Dark net N2-fixation rates over a course of 12 h were 20% of those measured in light. C-fixation, but not N2-fixation, was inhibited by high ambient light intensities during daytime. Consequently, the C:N fixation ratio varied substantially over the diel cycle. C- and N2-fixation rates were comparable to those reported for Aphanizomenon sp. in August at 19°C, using the same methods. High respiration rates (23% of gross photosynthesis) were measured with (14)C-incubations and O2-microsensors, and presumably reflect the energy needed for high N2-fixation rates. Hence, Aphanizomenon sp. is an important contributor to N2-fixation at low in situ temperatures in the early growth season.

DOI: 10.1093/femsec/fiv131

Cite this paper

@article{Svedn2015HighCR, title={High cell-specific rates of nitrogen and carbon fixation by the cyanobacterium Aphanizomenon sp. at low temperatures in the Baltic Sea.}, author={Jennie Barthel Sved{\'e}n and Birgit Adam and Jakob Walve and Nurun Nahar and Niculina Musat and Gaute Lavik and Martin J. Whitehouse and Marcel M. M. Kuypers and Helle Ploug}, journal={FEMS microbiology ecology}, year={2015}, volume={91 12} }