The cryptophyte Teleaulax amphioxeia is a source of plastids for the ciliate Mesodinium rubrum and both organisms are members of the trophic chain of several species of Dinophysis. It is important to better understand the ecology of organisms at the first trophic levels before assessing the impact of principal factors of global change on Dinophysis spp. Therefore, combined effects of temperature, irradiance and pH on growth rate, photosynthetic activity and pigment content of a temperate strain of T. amphioxeia were studied using a full factorial design (central composite design 23*) in 17 individually controlled bioreactors. The derived model predicted an optimal growth rate of T. amphioxeia at a light intensity of 400 µmol photons · m‐2 · s‐1, more acidic pH (7.6) than the current average and a temperature of 17.6°C. An interaction between temperature and irradiance on growth was also found, while pH did not have any significant effect. Subsequently, to investigate potential impacts of prey quality and quantity on the physiology of the predator, M. rubrum was fed two separate prey: predator ratios with cultures of T. amphioxeia previously acclimated at two different light intensities (100 and 400 µmol photons · m‐2 · s‐1). M. rubrum growth appeared to be significantly dependant on prey quantity while effect of prey quality was not observed. This multi‐parametric study indicated a high potential for a significant increase of T. amphioxeia in future climate conditions but to what extent this would lead to increased occurrences of Mesodinium spp. and Dinophysis spp. should be further investigated.
Gaillard S., Charrier A., Malo F., Carpentier I L., Bougaran G., Hégaret H., Réveillon D., Hess P. & Séchet V., in press. Combined effects of temperature, irradiance and pH on Teleaulax amphioxeia (Cryptophyceae) physiology and feeding ratio for its predator Mesodinium rubrum (Ciliophora). Journal of Phycology. Article (subscription required).