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Distribution of phytoplankton pigments in nine European estuaries and implications for an estuarine typology
Lemaire, E.; Abril, G.; De Wit, R.; Etcheber, H. (2002). Distribution of phytoplankton pigments in nine European estuaries and implications for an estuarine typology. Biogeochemistry 59(1-2): 5-23. hdl.handle.net/10.1023/A:1015572508179
In: Biogeochemistry. Springer: Dordrecht; Lancaster; Boston. ISSN 0168-2563, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Diatoms; Bacillariophyceae [WoRMS]; Marine
Author keywords
    diatoms; HPLC; pheopigments

Authors  Top 
  • Lemaire, E.
  • Abril, G., more
  • De Wit, R.
  • Etcheber, H.

Abstract
    Phytoplankton pigments were studied by LiquidChromatography (HPLC) in nine West Europeanestuaries. Three estuaries, i.e. the Rhine,Scheldt and the Gironde were sampled four timesto cover the different seasons, whereas theother six estuaries were sampled once. Pigmentdistributions in estuaries reflect bothriverine inputs as well as autochthonousblooms. Fucoxanthin was the most commonaccessory photosynthetic pigment showing thatDiatoms were the most common group in thestudied estuaries and were particularlydominant during autumn and winter. In the veryturbid Gironde estuary, degradation processeswere predominant between salinities 1 and 20,while Diatoms, Dinoflagellates and Cryptophytesbloomed above 20 salinity during spring andsummer. This contrasted with the highlyeutrophic but less turbid Scheldt, wherephytoplanktonic blooms occurred at lowsalinities close to the city of Antwerp. In theScheldt, we observed both a tenfold fluctuationof phytoplankton biomass and a fluctuatingpigment diversity index. In contrast,chlorophyll a was always low in theGironde, but we observed large variations ofpigment diversity among samplings duringdifferent seasons. Distribution of pheopigmentsshowed that the maximum turbidity zone (MTZ)was a highly reactive region for heterotrophicphytoplankton degradation. The Scheldt and theThames were the most anthropogenic influencedestuaries contrasting with the Gironde estuarythat has a less urbanised watershed. Anestuarine typology is proposed based on threeclusters emerging from a correspondenceanalysis of pigment variables and variablescharacterising the anthropogenic impact andphysical forcing.

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