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Limitation of oxygenic photosynthesis and oxygen consumption by phosphate and organic nitrogen in a hypersaline microbial mat: a microsensor study

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Ludwig,  R.
Permanent Research Group Microsensor, Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Max Planck Society;

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Pringault,  O.
Permanent Research Group Microsensor, Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Max Planck Society;

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de Beer,  D.
Permanent Research Group Microsensor, Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Max Planck Society;

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Jonkers,  H. M.
Permanent Research Group Microsensor, Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Ludwig, R., Pringault, O., de Wit, R., de Beer, D., & Jonkers, H. M. (2006). Limitation of oxygenic photosynthesis and oxygen consumption by phosphate and organic nitrogen in a hypersaline microbial mat: a microsensor study. FEMS Microbiology Ecology, 57(1), 9-17.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0001-CF57-5
Abstract
Microbial mats are characterized by high primary production but low growth rates, pointing to a limitation of growth by the lack of nutrients or substrates. We identified compounds that instantaneously stimulated photosynthesis rates and oxygen consumption rates in a hypersaline microbial mat by following the short‐term response (c. 6 h) of these processes to addition of nutrients, organic and inorganic carbon compounds, using microsensors. Net photosynthesis rates were not stimulated by compound additions. However, both gross photosynthesis and oxygen consumption were substantially stimulated (by a minimum of 25%) by alanine (1 mM) and glutamate (3.5 mM) as well as by phosphate (0.1 mM). A low concentration of ammonium (0.1 mM) did not affect photosynthesis and oxygen consumption, whereas a higher concentration (3.5 mM) decreased both process rates. High concentrations of glycolate (5 mM) and phosphate (1 mM) inhibited gross photosynthesis but not oxygen consumption, leading to a decrease of net photosynthesis. Photosynthesis was not stimulated by addition of inorganic carbon, nor was oxygen consumption stimulated by organic compounds like glycolate (5 mM) or glucose (5 mM), indicating that carbon was efficiently cycled within the mat. Photosynthesis and oxygen consumption were apparently tightly coupled, because stimulations always affected both processes to the same extent, which resulted in unchanged net photosynthesis rates. These findings illustrate that microsensor techniques, due to their ability to quantify all three processes, can clarify community responses to nutrient enrichment studies much better than techniques that solely monitor net fluxes.