As projected by climate change models, increase in sea surface temperature and precipitation in the future may alter nutrient cycling in the coastal regions due to potential changes in phytoplankton community structure and their ability to assimilate nitrogen (N) and carbon (C). An experiment simulating different temperature and salinity conditions (28°C-35 ambient conditions, 28ºC-31, 31ºC-35 and 31ºC-31) in mesocosms containing 1000 L of coastal water from the Arabian Sea was performed and N uptake rates were measured using 15N tracer technique on 2nd, 5th, 7th and 10th day of the experiment. The results show that, under all conditions, the total N (NO3- + NH4+) uptake rates were lower in the beginning and on the final day of the tracer experiment, while it peaked during middle, consistent with chlorophyll a concentrations. Total N uptake rate was significantly lower (p = 0.003) under ambient temperature-lower salinity condition (28ºC-31) than the others. This indicates that lowering of salinity in coastal regions due to excessive rainfall in the future may affect the N uptake potential of the phytoplankton, which may change the regional C and N budget.
Swedish Standard Keywords
- Environmental Sciences (10502)
- Climate change
- Mesocosm experiment