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Morphofunctional traits reflect differences in phytoplankton community between rivers of contrasting flow regime

Stéphane Fraisse 1 Myriam Bormans 2 Yvan Lagadeuc 2
2 RBPE
ECOBIO - Ecosystèmes, biodiversité, évolution [Rennes]
Abstract : A morphofunctional traits approach has been adopted to identify how environmental factors shape the phytoplankton community. This approach has been applied in two rivers where hydrodynamical conditions are expected to be the main factor acting on the phytoplankton community. Hence, morphological traits (motility, shape, size, mucilage, and silica) related to sedimentation resistance have been chosen. We have shown that differences in flow regulation through differences in flow velocities induce shifts in phytoplankton community. These shifts depend mostly on shape, buoyancy regulation, and motility of phytoplankton cells. Elongated shapes are the characteristic of unregulated sites with high flow velocities, while cells able to regulate actively their position or to reduce their density (mucilaginous colonies) are found in regulated sites with low flow velocities. Flattened shapes are also the characteristic of sites with rather low flow velocities. These results highlight the key role of flow velocity as a driving factor controlling the structure of phytoplankton community. In this study, flow velocity also structures phytoplankton community according to location rather than seasonality.
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Stéphane Fraisse, Myriam Bormans, Yvan Lagadeuc. Morphofunctional traits reflect differences in phytoplankton community between rivers of contrasting flow regime. Aquatic Ecology, Springer Verlag, 2013, 47 (3), pp.315-327. ⟨10.1007/s10452-013-9446-z⟩. ⟨hal-00861690⟩

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