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Dependency of dinoflagellate vertical migration on salinity stratification

  • Therese Jephson
  • Tony Fagerberg
  • Per Carlsson
Publishing year: 2011
Language: English
Pages: 255-264
Publication/Series: Aquatic Microbial Ecology
Volume: 63
Issue: 3
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Inter-Research

Abstract english

Increasing precipitation and surface water temperature due to global change may strengthen the salinity gradient in coastal regions, which could influence the behaviour of dinoflagellate migration. We studied diel vertical migration (DVM) behaviour in the dinoflagellates Prorocentrum minimum and Heterocapsa triquetra using vertically stratified laboratory columns with 3 different salinity gradients (difference of 6, 11 and 16 psu). With nutrient-depleted conditions at the surface, and with nutrients added below the halocline, P. minimum remained mainly concentrated in the bottom water, while H. triquetra performed DVM under all 3 salinity treatments. H. triquetra migrated through a salinity difference of 6 and 11 psu, concentrated at the surface at noon, then migrated to the nutrient-rich bottom water during the night. A salinity gradient of 16, however, stopped H. triquetra cells from moving through the gradient and resulted in a concentration of cells in the cline during the night. At midday, cells were again found at the surface. P. minimum and H. triquetra grown in 4 different salinities (10, 15, 20, 26 psu) and at 3 different temperatures (10, 15, 20 degrees C) showed higher specific growth rates with increasing temperature only in the 2 highest salinity treatments. At 10 degrees C, specific growth rates were not affected by different salinities.


  • Ecology
  • Dinoflagellate
  • Stratification
  • Vertical distribution
  • Global change
  • Salinity
  • Temperature
  • Growth rate
  • Heterocapsa triquetra
  • Prorocentrum
  • minimum


  • ISSN: 0948-3055
Per Carlsson
E-mail: per [dot] carlsson [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se

Senior lecturer

Division aquatic ecology

+46 46 222 84 35



Senior lecturer

Aquatic Ecology


Research group

Aquatic Ecology


Marine Pelagic Projects

Doctoral students and postdocs

PhD student, main supervisor

Johanna Stedt