The effect of light intensity on the organic composition of marine phytoplankton diatoms Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/v692t890f

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  • Investigation was made into the influence of changing light intensity on the organic and elemental composition of two species of marine diatoms, Ditylum brightwellii and Skeletonema costatum. Analysis was made of the relative changes in soluble and insoluble carbohydrate; polar, non-polar, and total lipid; amino acids; proteins; and total carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, and oxygen. Photosynthetic quotients were calculated from both organic and elemental composition. The response of soluble and insoluble carbohydrate was directly related to light intensity, although differences were noted between the two fractions. In general, amino acids and proteins showed little or no response to light intensity. Polar (pigment) lipids usually varied inversely with light intensity, whereas non-polar lipids varied directly with intensity. Total lipids also varied inversely with intensity although, considering the total amount of lipid present, the changes were slight. Some differences in relative organic composition were noted between the two species. On the basis of the data, average organic composition of each species was computed and compared with similar data in the literature. The effect of light intensity on the elemental composition of the two species yielded some differences, which were more readily apparent in the photosynthetic quotients calculated from elemental data. The photosynthetic quotient varied inversely with light intensity. Conclusions are summarized and suggestions for future research included.
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