The ratio of inorganic nitrogen to phosphorus (NP) is projected to decrease in the Eastern Boundary Upwelling Systems (EBUS) due to warming of the surface waters. In an enclosure experiment, we employed two levels of inorganic NP ratios (10 and 5) for three distinct plankton communities collected along the coast of central Chile (33°S). The primary effect of the NP treatment was related to different concentrations of NO.sub.3, which directly influenced the biomass of phytoplankton. In addition, low inorganic NP ratio reduced the seston NP and Chl a-C ratios, and there were some effects on the plankton community composition, e.g., benefitting Synechococcus spp. in some communities. One of the communities was clearly top-down controlled and trophic transfer to grazers was up to 5.8% during the 12 day experiment. Overall, the initial, natural plankton community composition was more important for seston stoichiometry and trophic transfer than the manipulation of the inorganic NP ratio, highlighting the importance of plankton community structure for marine ecosystem functioning.