Role of sinking in diatom life-history cycles: ecological, evolutionary and geological significance

  title={Role of sinking in diatom life-history cycles: ecological, evolutionary and geological significance},
  author={V. Smet{\'a}cek},
  journal={Marine Biology},
  • V. Smetácek
  • Published 1985
  • Environmental Science
  • Marine Biology
Rapid mass sinking of cells following diatom blooms, observed in lakes and the sea, is argued here to represent the transition from a growing to a resting stage in the life histories of these algae. Mass sinking is of survival value in those bloom diatoms that retain viability over long periods in cold, dark water but not in warm, nutrient-depleted surface water. Mechanisms for accelerating sinking speed of populations entering a resting or “seeding” mode are proposed. Previously unexplained… 

Grazer‐induced aggregation in diatoms

Sinking is part of diatom life history. Typically, by the end of a bloom, diatoms form aggregates that sink rapidly to the bottom. This opportunistic lifestyle can be considered an adaptation to

Aldehyde suppression of copepod recruitment in blooms of a ubiquitous planktonic diatom

A transgenerational plant–herbivore interaction could explain the recurringly inefficient use of a predictable, potentially valuable food resource—the spring diatom bloom—by marine zooplankton.

The evolution of silicification in diatoms: inescapable sinking and sinking as escape?

Density changes via changes in resource supply and, probably, parasitism, would move cells into optimal resource supply conditions, and remove parasitized, infective cells from surface populations of uninfected cells.

Enhanced primary production and nutrient regeneration within aggregated marine diatoms

Diatom aggregates associated with aggregates maintain higher photosynthetic rates than freely suspended diatoms by efficiently exploiting remineralized ammonia within the aggregate microenvironment, in preference to external nitrate sources.

Thoughts on the evolution and ecological niche of diatoms

. Diatoms are the most recent major algal lineage added to the geological record, appearing more than 200 million years ago. They are stramenopile protists resulting from a secondary endosymbiotic

Does energy control the sinking rates of marine diatoms

The first estimate of the dependence of cell sinking rate on cell respiration is provided and it is suggested that the sinking-respiration relationship may be useful in predicting the sinking dynamics of diatoms during a bloom.

Mechanistic origins of variability in phytoplankton dynamics: Part I: niche formation revealed by a size-based model

  • K. Wirtz
  • Environmental Science
    Marine Biology
  • 2013
This paper aims to unravel the complexity of how cell size determines major ecological and physiological functions in unicellular algae. It assembles recent mechanistic descriptions for size

Mechanistic origins of variability in phytoplankton dynamics: Part I: niche formation revealed by a size-based model

The complexity of how cell size determines major ecological and physiological functions in unicellular algae is unraveled and net production, grazing, and sedimentation can be shown to be uni- or multi-modal functions of cell size, in accordance with literature data.

Phytoplankton sinking rates in the Rhine region of freshwater influence

It is concluded that SetCol gives adequate results when incubations are performed at or near in situ irradiance and temperature; sinking rates are predominantly determined by cell or colony density rather than their size; periodic sedimentation is an important species-specific loss process for phytoplankton in the Dutch coastal zone.

Diatom aggregation in the sea: mechanisms and ecological implications

To quantify the global impact of diatom aggregation there is a need to conduct fieldwork in a wider range of areas, particularly in the Southern Hemisphere, because the mechanisms and adaptive explanations proposed require natural selection to operate at the level of populations rather than genes or individuals.



Loss rates from sedimentation, parasitism, and grazing during the growth, nutrient limitation, and dormancy of a diatom crop

Factors controlling the growth and decline of a diatom crop were measured in well mixed Lough Ncagh, Northern Ireland, with only 1% of the population surviving through to the following year.

Dark survival of autotrophic, planktonic marine diatoms

It is suggested that dark survival of photoautotrophic microalgae may be temperature dependent in some species, as in S. costatum, and may be prolonged by periodic illumination at subcompensation intensities for photosynthesis, as shown in Dunaliella tertiolecta.

Benthic response to sedimentation of a spring phytoplankton bloom: Process and budget

A comparison of the two activity parameters suggests that anaerobic metabolism is more important during the winter (February and March) than after input of the bloom, and that the vertical transport of particulate organic matter via sedimentation can only explain 25% of the benthic activity in the shallow water ecosystem of the Kiel Bight.

Life-forms of phytoplankton as survival alternatives in an unstable environment

The best predictor of primary production and of dominant life-forms in phytoplankton is the available externat energy, on which advection and turbulence depend, and this factor overrules more detailed models using light and nutrients as most relevant parameters, and based on laboratory experiments.

Thalassiosira antarctica: vegetative and resting stage chemical composition of an ice-related marine diatom

Findings support the idea that resting spores enhance the survival capabilities of a species under adverse conditions.

of a marine diatom: implications to dynamics of chlorophyll maximum layers

P. Bienfang a, J. Szyper a, E. Laws b a Oceanic Institute, Waimanalo, Hawaii 96795, USA. b Department of Oceanography, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii 96822, USA. Received 14/4/82, in revised