Community-Level Responses to Iron Availability in Open Ocean Plankton Ecosystems

Luigi Caputi, Quentin Carradec, Damien Eveillard, Amos Kirilovsky, Eric Pelletier, Juan J. Pierella Karlusich, Fabio Rocha Jimenez Vieira, Emilie Villar, Samuel Chaffron, Shruti Malviya, Eleonora Scalco, Silvia G. Acinas, Adriana Alberti, Jean Marc Aury, Anne Sophie Benoiston, Alexis Bertrand, Tristan Biard, Lucie Bittner, Martine Boccara, Jennifer R. BrumChristophe Brunet, Greta Busseni, Anna Carratalà, Hervé Claustre, Luis Pedro Coelho, Sébastien Colin, Salvatore D'Aniello, Corinne Da Silva, Marianna Del Core, Hugo Doré, Stéphane Gasparini, Florian Kokoszka, Jean Louis Jamet, Christophe Lejeusne, Cyrille Lepoivre, Magali Lescot, Gipsi Lima-Mendez, Fabien Lombard, Julius Lukeš, Nicolas Maillet, Mohammed Amin Madoui, Elodie Martinez, Maria Grazia Mazzocchi, Mario B. Néou, Javier Paz-Yepes, Julie Poulain, Simon Ramondenc, Jean Baptiste Romagnan, Simon Roux, Daniela Salvagio Manta, Remo Sanges, Sabrina Speich, Mario Sprovieri, Shinichi Sunagawa, Vincent Taillandier, Atsuko Tanaka, Leila Tirichine, Camille Trottier, Julia Uitz, Alaguraj Veluchamy, Jana Veselá, Flora Vincent, Sheree Yau, Stefanie Kandels-Lewis, Sarah Searson, Céline Dimier, Marc Picheral, Peer Bork, Emmanuel Boss, Colomban de Vargas, Michael J. Follows, Nigel Grimsley, Lionel Guidi, Pascal Hingamp, Eric Karsenti, Paolo Sordino, Lars Stemmann, Matthew B. Sullivan, Alessandro Tagliabue, Adriana Zingone, Laurence Garczarek, Fabrizio d'Ortenzio, Pierre Testor, Fabrice Not, Maurizio Ribera d'Alcalà, Patrick Wincker, Chris Bowler, Daniele Iudicone

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62 Scopus citations


Predicting responses of plankton to variations in essential nutrients is hampered by limited in situ measurements, a poor understanding of community composition, and the lack of reference gene catalogs for key taxa. Iron is a key driver of plankton dynamics and, therefore, of global biogeochemical cycles and climate. To assess the impact of iron availability on plankton communities, we explored the comprehensive bio-oceanographic and bio-omics data sets from Tara Oceans in the context of the iron products from two state-of-the-art global scale biogeochemical models. We obtained novel information about adaptation and acclimation toward iron in a range of phytoplankton, including picocyanobacteria and diatoms, and identified whole subcommunities covarying with iron. Many of the observed global patterns were recapitulated in the Marquesas archipelago, where frequent plankton blooms are believed to be caused by natural iron fertilization, although they are not captured in large-scale biogeochemical models. This work provides a proof of concept that integrative analyses, spanning from genes to ecosystems and viruses to zooplankton, can disentangle the complexity of plankton communities and can lead to more accurate formulations of resource bioavailability in biogeochemical models, thus improving our understanding of plankton resilience in a changing environment.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)391-419
Number of pages29
JournalGlobal Biogeochemical Cycles
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 20 2019

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: The Tara Oceans consortium acknowledges the origin of samples from Stations TARA_113-125 as French Polynesia and that they were collected under Convention number 3534 (Convention relatif à la campagne de prélévements et de mésures de Tara Oceans en Polynesie Francaise) dated 16 June 2011. We thank the commitment of the following people and sponsors who made this singular expedition possible: CNRS (in particular Groupement de Recherche GDR3280, the Mission Pour l'Interdisciplinarité – Project MEGALODOM, and the Fédération de Recherche GO-SEE FR2022), European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), Genoscope/CEA, the French Government “Investissements d'Avenir” programs Oceanomics (ANR-11-BTBR-0008), MEMO LIFE (ANR-10-LABX-54), PSL* Research University (ANR-11-IDEX-0001-02), and FRANCE GENOMIQUE (ANR-10-INBS-09), Fund for Scientific Research – Flanders, VIB, Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn, UNIMIB, ANR (projects “PHYTBACK/ANR-2010-1709-01,” POSEIDON/ANR-09-BLAN-0348, PROMETHEUS/ANR-09-PCS-GENM-217, TARA-GIRUS/ANR-09-PCS-GENM-218, SAMOSA/ANR-13-ADAP-0010, CINNAMON/ANR-17-CE02-0014-01), EU FP7 (MicroB3/No. 287589), ERC Advanced Grant Award (Diatomite: 294823), the LouisD foundation of the Institut de France, a Radcliffe Institute Fellowship from Harvard University to C. B., JSPS/MEXT KAKENHI (26430184, 16H06437, and 16KT0020), The Canon Foundation (203143100025), Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation (award #3790) and the US National Science Foundation (awards OCE#1536989 and OCE#1829831) to MBS, agnès b., the Veolia Environment Foundation, Region Bretagne, World Courier, Illumina, Cap L'Orient, the EDF Foundation EDF Diversiterre, FRB, the Prince Albert II de Monaco Foundation, Etienne Bourgois, the Fonds Français pour l'Environnement Mondial, the TARA schooner and its captain and crew. Tara Oceans would not exist without continuous support from 23 institutes ( This article is contribution number 85 of Tara Oceans. The authors have deposited the data in the following repositories: Sequencing data are archived at ENA ( under the accession number PRJEB4352 for the metagenomics data and PRJEB6609 for the metatranscriptomics data (Carradec et al.,); environmental data are available at PANGAEA (


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