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Primary production, light and vertical mixing in Potter Cove, a shallow bay in the maritime Antarctic
Schloss, I.R.; Ferreyra, G.A. (2002). Primary production, light and vertical mixing in Potter Cove, a shallow bay in the maritime Antarctic. Polar Biol. 25(1): 41-48. dx.doi.org/10.1007/s003000100309
In: Polar Biology. Springer-Verlag: Berlin. ISSN 0722-4060, more
Peer reviewed article

Keywords
    Light attenuation; Photosynthesis; Primary production; Turbulence; Vertical mixing; PSW, Antarctica, South Shetland I., King George I., Potter Cove [gazetteer]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Schloss, I.R.
  • Ferreyra, G.A.

Abstract
    Phytoplankton photosynthesis was measured during spring-summer 1991-1992 in the inner and outer part of the shallow Potter Cove, King George Island. Strong winds characterise this area. Wind-induced turbulent mixing was quantified by means of the root-mean square expected vertical displacement depth of cells in the water column, Zt. The light attenuation coefficient was used as a measure of the influence of the large amount of terrigenous particles usually present in the water column; 1% light penetration ranged between 30 and 9 m, and between 30 and 15 m for the inner and outer cove, respectively. Obvious differences between photosynthetic capacity [P*max; averages 2.6 and 0.6 µg C (µg chlorophyll-a)-1h-1] and photosynthetic efficiency {α*; 0.073 and 0.0018 µg C (µg chlorophyll-a)-1h-1 [(µmol m-2 s-1)-1]} values were obtained for both sites during low mixing conditions (Zt from 10 to 20 m), while no differences were found for high mixing situations (Zt>20 m). This suggests different photoacclimation of phytoplankton responses, induced by modifications of the light field, which in turn are controlled by physical forcing. Our results suggest that although in experimental work P*max can be high, wind-induced mixing and low irradiance will prevent profuse phytoplankton development in the area.

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