MANTEL's first research paper published
Truls Hansson, ESR for Project 6, and co-authors, have published the MANTEL Project's first research paper in the journal Limnology and Oceanography. The publication is open access, freely available for anyone to read.
The paper, entitled "Environmental drivers of mixotrophs in boreal lakes"was undertaken in collaboration between IGB Berlin and the University of Quebec, Canada. The study examined the variables which drive the success of phytoplankton that have a capacity for mixotrophy (obtaining energy and nutrients through a combination of photosynthesis and heterotrophy). Coloured Dissolved Organic Matter (cDOM) and dissolved carbon dioxide concentrations both had a positive influence on the success of mixotrophs (in terms of % of total biomass). The abundance of zooplankton limited the success of mixotrophs, but had a positive effect on autotrophic phytoplankton.
The study highlighted mixotrophy in boreal lake systems as a strategy of persistence, with the maintenance of a moderate but constant presence across a changing gradient of light and trophic conditions. The results support the hypothesis that phytoplankton with a capacity for mixotrophy provide a superior and stable food source for zooplankton, highlighting mixotrophs as a vital component in boreal lake food webs.
Read the full paper here.