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MARN331 Marine Phytoplankton Ecology and Physiology—Fall 2004

(August 30-December 18)

 

3 credits. Prerequisite: BIO107, 108, MARN170, MARN260/380 or consent of instructor.

Instructor: Senjie Lin

 

Course description

Phytoplankton diversity and distribution, photosynthesis and growth in relation to genetic and environmental factors, cell death, top-down control, and current topics in phytoplankton research. Methodology of measurements will be an emphasis.

 

Class hours and location
Lecture: Wed 9:45-11:30 am, Room #123.

Lab: Fri 9:30 am-12:30 pm, Room #107.

 

Textbook: None. The class will be largely based on literature.

 

Reading materials: assigned literature materials (selected papers from the Reading List).

 

Grading: final grade is determined by points from final exam (45%), lab performance (30%), and term paper (25%).

 

 

Syllabus

 

Week 1 (Aug 30, Sep 3)

Lecture 1: Introduction

·        Objectives & structure

·        Expectations

·        Assignment of term papers

Lab 1: Culture isolation

 

Week 2 (Sep 8, Sep 10)

Lecture 2: Species diversity and distribution

·        Species diversity and challenges in identification

·        Phytoplankton biomass (chlorophylls, carbon, cell concentration)

·        Epifluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry

Lab 2: Identification of phytoplankton (lab cultures and field samples from Long Island Sound).

 

Week 3 (Sep 15, 17)

Lecture 3: Chloroplast diversity and pigment ratios

·        Evolution: endosymbiosis and gene transfer theories;

·        Ecological variants: Structure, pigments, enzymes.

·        Chlorophylls, chlorophyll to carbon ratios

Lab 3: chlorophyll measurement.

 

Week 4 (Sep 22, 24)

Lecture 4: Photosynthesis and effects of light

·        Photochemistry and biochemistry in photosynthesis

·        P-I functional response.

·        Light adaptation and photoinhibition.

·        Effects of UV light.

Lab 4: Long Island Sound Cruise.

 

Week 5 (Sep 29, Oct 1)

Lecture 5: Reproduction

·        Reproduction and life history.

·        Cell division cycle.

·        Circadian rhythm.

Lab 5: Chlorophyll (cruise sample) and Fv/Fm (cultures)

 

Week 6 (Oct 6, 8)

Lecture 6: Effects of nutrients I

·        Requirement of N, P, Si, trace metals

·        Sources and abundances.

·        Stoichiometric ratios.

Lab 6: P vs I curve

 

Week 7 (Oct 13, 15)

Lecture 7: Effects of nutrients II

·        Nutrient limitation.

·        Nutritional diversification.

Lab 7: P vs I curve.

 

Term paper 1st draft due

 

Week 8 (Oct 20, 22)

Lecture 8: Iron limitation

·        Requirement of iron, cobalt, zinc, etc.

·        Symptoms of iron limitation and adaptation.

·        Consequence of iron fertilization.

Lab 8: Measurement of nitrate reduactase activity

 

Week 9 (Oct 27, 29)

Lecture 9: Heterotrophy in planktonic microalgae

  • Is mixotrophic the norm?
  • Sapotrophic and phagotrophic.
  • Grazing capability.
  • Uptake of DOC.

Lab 9: Measurement of nitrate reduactase activity.

 

Week 10 (Nov 3, 5)

Growth rate

  • Cell division rate (gross growth rate)
  • Genetic determinants
  • Bottom-up control

Lab 10: Dilution experiment

 

Week 11 (Nov 10, 12)

Lecture 11: Growth and grazing

  • Net growth rate and population dynamics
  • Cell death: “altruistic suicide”?
  • Top-down control

Lab 11: Dilution experiment

 

Week 12 (Nov 17, 19)

Lecture 12: Production and biomass: Remote sensing technology

  • Measurement methods
  • Total and system-specific productions
  • Biological pump and its efficiency
  • Positive & negative feedbacks

Lab 12: 14C method

 

Week 13 (Nov. 22-28)

Thanksgiving Recess: No class

 

Week 14 (Dec 1, Dec 3)

Lecture 13: Community structure & function in response to environmental changes

  • Diatom dominated system (Si, NO3 vs. NH4)
  • Picoplankton dominated system (oligotrophic)
  • Coccolithophore dominated system (CaCO3 formation)
  • Eutrophication
  • Thermal stress: Coral-Symbiodinium complex

Lab 13: 14C method

 

Week 15 (Dec 8, 10)

Final Exam (take home exam, distributed on Dec 8, due back Dec 15)

Term paper: due on Dec 17.

 

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