Complex investigations of the influence of environmental factors, viz., the temperature, photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), ambient seawater concentrations of ammonium (NH4), and orthophosphate (PO4), as well as the contents of organic carbon (C), nitrogen, phosphorus, and a-chlorophyll (Ch) on the rate of photosynthesis (Pn) and dark respiration (Rd) in the tissues of the unattached red seaweed Ahnfeltia tobuchiensis (Rhodophyta: Ahnfeltiales) population, were performed in the summers of 2000 and 2008 in Izmeny Bay (Kunashir Island) under in situ conditions. The dependence of photosynthesis on PAR intensity (P-I dependence) is described by the equation of a hyperbolic tangent. The population of A. tobuchiensis forms a layer up to 50 cm thick with an area of 23.3 km2 and a biomass of 125 000 tons. The Pn rate of seaweed population during daylight hours varies within a wide range, with an average of 1.04 mg O2 O2/(g dry weight h) and largely depends on PAR intensity and availability (r = 0.70–0.98). The maximum photosynthesis rate (Pmax) is substantially defined by the ambient concentration of NH4 (r 2 = 0.91, p < 0.01). The rate of Rd during the night is on average 0.1 mg O2/(g dry weight h) and mainly depends on the content of Ch in seaweed tissues (r 2 = 0.83, p < 0.01), which, in its turn, is regulated by the ambient concentration of PO4 (r 2 = 0.86, p < 0.01). With average biomass values of 5.4 kg/m2 or 1.8 kgdry weight/m2, the net primary production (Pn) of seaweed population is estimated to be on average 22.5 g O2/(m2 day) or 8.4 g C/(m2 day). Based on these indices, the investigated population is one of the most productive ecosystems of the World Ocean. It is supposed that such indices of the A. tobuchiensis population are attained due to the highly efficient use of weak light and a low light-saturation level of photosynthesis, compared to other seaweeds.
Russian Journal of Marine Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 29, 2010
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