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Rôle de la biodiversité des diatomées dans la modulation des flux biogéochimiques du carbone et du silicium dans les milieux polaires

Abstract : Polar regions are particularly affected by the ongoing climate changes which have profound consequences on the development of phytoplankton and on the functioning of the biological pump (vertical transfer of particulate organic carbon from the surface to the deep ocean). Plankton community structure and species-specific properties (size, shape, cellular content in Si and C, physiological state, life stage, etc.) can strongly influence biogeochemical cycles and the export of organic matter (e.g. C, N) and biomineral (e.g. Si). In high latitudes, diatoms are a major contributor to primary production and exhibit a great diversity of species. The objectives of this PhD are (1) to identify the factors controlling the development and the structure of diatom communities, (2) to assess the influence of species diversity on the composition and stoichiometry of particulate matter, and (3) to understand mortality and export modes in the deep ocean. This work is based on the study of two subpolar regions located in both the northern and southern hemispheres: (1) the Baffin Bay, a seasonal ice zone in the Arctic, and (2) the Kerguelen region, a permanently open ocean zone in the Southern Ocean. In the latter region, we studied two contrasted environments: a low production HNLC (High Nutrient Low Chlorophyll) area versus a high production iron-fertilized area located above the Kerguelen plateau. In Baffin Bay, we highlight a diatom community succession in relation with sea ice melting and the strong west-to-east water masses gradient prevailing in the bay. A low productive community dominated by pennate diatoms was found beneath the consolidated ice pack (pre-bloom conditions), in ice-free Pacific influenced waters, and on the easternside of the bay (post-bloom conditions). In contrast, an actively growing diatom bloom composed of a mixed assemblage of centric (e.g. Chaetoceros, Thalassiosira) and pennate diatoms was found in the marginal ice zone. These results highlight the importance of the melting sea ice for the development of the spring bloom but also other parameters such as: the water masses gradient (Atlantic vs. Pacific), the bathymetry, and the melting snow cover. In the Kerguelen region, we confirm that iron is a key parameter controlling diatom community structure since we identified two distinct communities located either above the Fe-fertilized plateau or in adjacent HNLC waters. In the HNLC area, diatoms were more heavily silicified due to the combined effects of both taxonomic composition of the resident community and a direct physiological response to iron stress, resulting in higher Si:C elemental ratios in diatoms as well as in the bulk particulate matter. A deep and inactive diatom community was found within the pycnocline gradient, both on- and off-plateau, which likely resulted from the differential sinking and accumulation of denser species previously grown at the surface and more resistant to grazing and/or remineralization. In HNLC waters, detrital frustules belonging to the species Fragilariopsis kerguelensis and Chaetoceros atlanticus carried mostly Si below the mixed layer. Our results reveled that F. kerguelensis undergo a strong grazing pressure by micro- and mesozooplankton, a species usually considered as resistant to grazing. Above the Kerguelen plateau, intact Chaetoceros spores carried both Si and C below the mixed layer, giving further evidence to the role played by life stages for particulate matter export. The deployment of a Bottle-net, a recently available device that allows to concentrate and collect deep particles over a pre-determined water layer, revealed that 93 % of the intermediate (125-500 m) and deep (>500 m) particle stocks were single diatom cells — fecal pellets and aggregates represented less than 2% of the collected particles — providing new evidence of the importance of small particles for export fluxes. More generally, this thesis bring attention to the need to follow a species-centered approach in order to understand more finely the functioning of the biological carbon pump and predict its future role in the context of climate change.
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Contributor : Augustin Lafond <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, February 10, 2021 - 2:09:12 PM
Last modification on : Friday, February 12, 2021 - 3:03:04 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Tuesday, May 11, 2021 - 6:46:33 PM

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Augustin Lafond. Rôle de la biodiversité des diatomées dans la modulation des flux biogéochimiques du carbone et du silicium dans les milieux polaires. Océanographie. Aix Marseille Université, 2021. Français. ⟨tel-03137420⟩

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