Academy of Finland
Funding decision
Name Peltomaa, Elina
Organisation HY
Project title Mixotrophy in aquatic environments - the true story (maquette)
Decision No. 276268
Decision date 10.04.2014
Funding period 01.09.2014 - 31.08.2017
Funding 305 211
WebFOCUS Report
Project description
Aquatic primary producers, i.e. phytoplankton, are typically considered to be purely autotrophic utilizing only inorganic nutrients. However, many of them are mixotrophic, i.e. get sustenance simultaneously from inorganic and organic sources. Vice versa, some apparently heterotrophic components of plankton community are mixotrophs fixing inorganic C photosynthetically via algal food items that are retained as symbionts. The degree of mixotrophy varies depending on species and environmental conditions, and even though mixotrophy is a recognized, ecologically important trait, the proportion of nutrient demand fulfilled of via mixotrophy is not known. The main objective of this study is to quantify the amount of organic and inorganic nutrients (C, N, P, Fe) that are really taken up by aquatic mixotrophs. When fully recognized mixotrophy will change the paradigms of aquatic ecology and especially food web functioning which are the basis e.g. of food web manipulation and lake restoration.