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Factors controlling the distribution of diatoms and Phaeocystis in the Ross Sea
Goffart, A.; Catalano, G.; Hecq, J.H. (2000). Factors controlling the distribution of diatoms and Phaeocystis in the Ross Sea, in: Goffart, A. et al. (Ed.) Hydrodynamical and Ecosystem Processes in Ice-covered Seas of the Southern and Northern Hemispheres. Journal of Marine Systems, 27(Special Issue 1-3): pp. 161-175. dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0924-7963(00)00065-8
In: Goffart, A.; Hecq, J.H. (Ed.) (2000). Hydrodynamical and Ecosystem Processes in Ice-covered Seas of the Southern and Northern Hemispheres. Journal of Marine Systems, 27(Special Issue 1-3). Elsevier: Liège. 1-276 pp., more
In: Journal of Marine Systems. Elsevier: Tokyo; Oxford; New York; Amsterdam. ISSN 0924-7963, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in Authors 
    VLIZ: Open Repository 237452 [ OMA ]
Document type: Conference paper

Keywords
    Bacillariophyceae [WoRMS]; Phaeocystis Lagerheim, 1893 [WoRMS]; Marine
Author keywords
    Ross Sea; Phaeocystis; diatoms

Authors  Top 
  • Goffart, A., more
  • Catalano, G.
  • Hecq, J.H., more

Abstract
    he spatial and temporal distributions of phytoplankton pigments were investigated in the western and south central Ross Sea during austral spring 1994 and summer 1990. Large gradients in biomass and phytoplankton community composition were observed both in the east-west and south-north directions, in relation to differences in water column structure and stability, which themselves depend on the processes of ice retreat within the different areas. Important are melting in the western Ross Sea, which induces strong stratification, and ice breakup and wind stress in the south central Ross Sea, which result in deep mixing and weakly stratified waters. In the western Ross Sea, the highest chlorophyll a (chl. a) concentrations observed in this study (129-358 mg m-2 in the upper 100 m) were tightly coupled to the stratified region of meltwater influence and were dominated by diatoms, as indicated by elevated fucoxanthin concentrations (89-239 mg m-2 in the upper 100 m). In the diatom bloom area, high levels of phaeophorbides a (maximum value of 192 mg m-2 in the upper 100 m) indicated that the dominant grazers, identified as Limacina helecina and copepods [Hecq, J.H., Magazzù, G., Goffart, A., Catalano, G., Vanucci, S., Guglielmo, L., 1992. Distribution of planktonic components related to vertical structure of water masses in the Ross Sea and the Pacific sector of the Southern Ocean. In: Anonymous, Atti del 9° congresso A.I.O.L., Santa Margherita Ligure, 20-23 Novembre 1990, 665-678], transferred a sustained part of the diatom production to the herbivore trophic level. Synthesis of our data with published information suggests that the diatom bloom we observed in the western Ross Sea was dominated by the species Fragilariopsis curta, and occurs annually off the coast of Victoria Land from 72°30'S to 77°S within 100-250 km from the coastal ice edge. It is assumed to persist on the order of 2.5-3 months during summer. In the south central Ross Sea, which was characterized by a poorly or unstratified water column, moderate chl. a concentrations (55-186 mg m-2 in the upper 100 m) were found in the polynya and in the ice-edge area in early spring. The 19'-hexanoyloxyfucoxanthin (19'-HF), a biomarker for Phaeocystis, was the major contributor to the total carotenoid abundance (29-132 mg m-2 in the upper 100 m), corroborating the hypothesis that Phaeocystis are well adapted to develop in a relatively mixed water column. At the northern limit of the polynya, a quite narrow (ca. 30 km) diatom bloom (31-67 mg fucoxanthin m-2 in the upper 100 m) overlapped with the Phaeocystis bloom in the slightly stratified marginal ice zone. This was an area of increased grazing pressure by various types of herbivorous zooplankton, among which very large amounts of krill were observed.

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