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Microorganisms 2018, 6(3), 82;

The Species-Specific Responses of Freshwater Diatoms to Elevated Temperatures Are Affected by Interspecific Interactions

Key Laboratory of Algal Biology, Institute of Hydrobiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430072, China
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 June 2018 / Revised: 30 July 2018 / Accepted: 3 August 2018 / Published: 7 August 2018
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Numerous experimental simulations with different warming scenarios have been conducted to predict how algae will respond to warming, but their conclusions are sometimes contradictory to each other. This might be due to a failure to consider interspecific interactions. In this study, the dominant diatom species in a seasonal succession were isolated and verified to adapt to different temperature ranges by constant temperature experiment. Both unialgal and mixed cultures were exposed to two fluctuant temperature treatments that simulated the temperature variations from early spring to summer, with one treatment 4 °C higher (warming scenario) than the other. We found that the specific response of diatoms to warming was affected by interspecific interactions. Spring warming had no significant effect on eurythermal species and had a positive effect on the abundance of warm-adapted diatom species, but interspecific interactions reduced this promotional effect. Cold-adapted species had a negative response to spring warming in the presence of other diatom species but had a positive response to early spring warming in the absence of interspecific interactions. In addition, warming resulted in the growth of all diatom species peaking earlier in unialgal cultures, but this effect could be weakened or amplified by interspecies interactions in mixed cultures. Our results suggest that the specific diatom species with different optimal growth temperature ranges responding to warming were expected if there were no interspecific interactions. However, in natural environments, the inevitable and complex interspecific interactions will influence the responses of diatoms to warming. This important factor should not be ignored in the prediction of organism responses to climate warming. View Full-Text
Keywords: diatoms; interspecific interactions; seasonal succession; warming scenarios diatoms; interspecific interactions; seasonal succession; warming scenarios

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Zhang, Y.; Peng, C.; Wang, Z.; Zhang, J.; Li, L.; Huang, S.; Li, D. The Species-Specific Responses of Freshwater Diatoms to Elevated Temperatures Are Affected by Interspecific Interactions. Microorganisms 2018, 6, 82.

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