Defining the biogeochemical drivers of diatom physiological ecology in the North Atlantic

How do diatom species respond to changes in biogeochemistry across marine provinces?  Ongoing work in the North Atlantic seeks to shed light on this question by using quantitative metabolic fingerprinting (QMF) to follow shifts in diatom community composition and metabolism across three oceanic provinces (coast, Gulf Stream, open ocean).  These locations differ dramatically in many factors, including nutrient profiles, predicted patterns of nutrient limitation as well as diatom species composition and abundance. By sampling from the coast, where diatoms thrive, to the open ocean, where diatom growth is muted by nutrient limitation we are using advanced molecular and informatic tools to decipher in situ physiological ecology at the species-specific level.