Reference : Phytoplankton community dynamics during late spring coccolithophore blooms at the con...
Scientific journals : Article
Life sciences : Aquatic sciences & oceanology
Life sciences : Environmental sciences & ecology
Phytoplankton community dynamics during late spring coccolithophore blooms at the continental margin of the Celtic Sea (North East Atlantic, 2006–2008)
Van Oostende, Nicolas mailto [Ghent University, Krijgslaan 281 – S8, B-9000 Gent, Belgium. > Biology Department > Laboratory for Protistology and Aquatic Ecology > PhD >]
Harlay, Jérôme mailto [Université de Liège - ULiège > Département d'astrophys., géophysique et océanographie (AGO) > Océanographie chimique >]
Vanelslander, Bart [Ghent University > Biology Department > Laboratory for Protistology and Aquatic Ecology > >]
Chou, Lei [Université Libre de Bruxelles - ULB > Faculté de Sciences > Laboratoire d’Océanographie Chimique et Géochimie des Eaux > >]
Vyverman, Wim [Ghent university > Biology Department > Laboratory for Protistology and Aquatic Ecology > >]
Sabbe, Koen [Ghent University > Biology Department > Laboratory for Protistology and Aquatic Ecology > >]
Progress in Oceanography
Pergamon Press - An Imprint of Elsevier Science
Yes (verified by ORBi)
United Kingdom
[en] coccolithophore ; Emiliania huxleyi ; pigment ; CHEMTAX ; Transparent exopolymer particles ; Bay of Biscay
[en] We determined the spatial and temporal dynamics of major phytoplankton groups in relation to biogeochemical and physical variables during the late spring coccolithophore blooms (May-June) along and across the continental margin of the northern Bay of Biscay (2006-2008). Photosynthetic biomass (Chla) of the dominant plankton groups was determined by CHEMTAX analysis of HPLC pigment signatures. We used uni- and multivariate statistical techniques to identify the main physical and biogeochemical variables underlying the variation in phytoplankton biomass and community structure.
Phytoplankton standing stock biomass varied substantially between and during the campaigns (areal Chla (mg Chla m-2) in June 2006: 63.8 ± 26.5, May 2007: 27.9 ± 8.4, and May 2008: 41.3 ± 21.8), reflecting the different prevailing weather, irradiance, and sea surface temperature conditions between the campaigns. Coccolithophores, represented mainly by Emiliania huxleyi, and diatoms were the dominant phytoplankton groups, with a maximal contribution of, respectively, 72% and 89% of the total Chla. Prasinophytes, dinoflagellates, and chrysophytes often co-occurred during coccolithophorid blooms, while diatoms dominated the phytoplankton biomass independently of the abundance of other groups. The location of the stations on the shelf or on the slope side of the continental margin did not influence the biomass and the composition of the phytoplankton community despite significantly stronger water column stratification and lower nutrient concentrations on the shelf. The alternation between diatom and coccolithophorid blooms of similar biomasses, following the mostly diatom-dominated main spring bloom, was partly driven by changes in nutrient stoichiometry (N:P and dSi:N). High concentrations of transparent exopolymer particles (TEP) were associated with stratified, coccolithophore-rich water masses, which probably originated from the slope of the continental margin and warmed during advection onto the shelf. Although we did not determine the proportion of export production attributed to phytoplankton groups, the abundance of coccolithophores, TEP, and coccoliths may affect the carbon export efficiency through increased sinking rates of particles formed by aggregation of TEP and coccoliths.

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