VILLAFAÑE virginia Estela
Extreme and gradual rainfall effects on winter and summer estuarine phytoplankton communities from Patagonia (Argentina)
VIZZO, JUAN I.; CABRERIZO, MARCO J.; HELBLING, E. WALTER; VILLAFAÑE, VIRGINIA E.
MARINE ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH
ELSEVIER SCI LTD
Año: 2021 vol. 163
Rainfall events bring both, terrigenous materials (including DOM) and nutrients to the aquatic system (e.g., via riverine runoff) having potential effects on the structure and metabolism of the phytoplankton communities. As extreme rainfall events in Patagonia occurred more frequently in the last decade (2010–2019) as compared to the previous ones (1972–2009), we exposed winter and summer phytoplankton communities (using microcosms) to solar radiation, simulating two rainfall conditions - a single extreme vs. intermittent i.e., with gradual inputs, and we assessed their photosynthetic and growth rates responses and taxonomic changes. Rainfall scenarios significantly increased growth of both communities, mainly of small nanoplanktonic species, as compared to the control. Small nanoplanktonic centric diatoms increased and dominated in both rainfall scenarios, as compared to the control, during winter and summer, with significantly smaller cells during summer as compared to winter. Photosynthetic efficiency increased in both rainfall scenarios at the end of the experiment as compared to the control. Overall, the change towards small cells (associated to rainfall events) that can use more effectively solar radiation and nutrients (as compared to large cells) may have a significant impact on the trophic webs of the South West Atlantic Ocean by favoring grazing pressure by microzooplankton, especially during summer.