- Dalhousie University
Each phytoplankton species has its own characteristic thermal performance curve. For most species, growth rate increases gradually with increasing temperature until a critical temperature is reached, and then growth rate drops quickly with further increases in temperature. Right now, most researchers assume that individual species thermal response curves will stay fixed, so temperature increases will change the biogeographic distributions of species. To better understand how phytoplankton will respond to increasing ocean temperatures, we wanted to develop a mechanistic understanding of the effects of changing temperature on diatom metabolism.