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Phytoplankton photosynthesis-irradiance parameters in the near-shore UK coastal waters of the North Sea: temporal variation and environmental control
Shaw, P.J.; Purdie, D.A. (2001). Phytoplankton photosynthesis-irradiance parameters in the near-shore UK coastal waters of the North Sea: temporal variation and environmental control. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 216: 83-94
In: Marine Ecology Progress Series. Inter-Research: Oldendorf/Luhe. ISSN 0171-8630, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Shaw, P.J.
  • Purdie, D.A.

Abstract
    Chlorophyll-specific photosynthesis-irradiance (P-E) parameters of natural phytoplankton in the near-shore UK coastal waters of the North Sea were determined during six 2 wk surveys carried out from 1993 to 1995. The initial slope of the P-E curve (alphaB) varied from 0.02 to 2.44 mg C mg-1 chl a d-1 (µmol photons m-2 s-1)-1 between winter 1993 and October 1994; the light-saturated rate of photosynthesis (PBmax) ranged from 8 mg C mg-1 chl a d-1 during winter surveys to 332 mg C mg-1 chl a d-1 during October 1994. Values of alphaB and PBmax determined during October 1994 were significantly higher than in other survey periods. Although phytoplankton cell biomass was significantly higher during the June 1995 survey (due to high abundance of Phaeocystis spp. at some sites) than in October or winter surveys, the October peak in P-E parameters coincided with a period in which dinoflagellates accounted for a high proportion of phytoplankton carbon biomass. Multiple linear regression analysis revealed that alphaB could be predicted from the total photosynthetically availalable radiation (PAR) incident at the surface during the daylight period, whilst PBmax could be predicted from a linear combination of total incident PAR and sea-surface temperature. Temporal variations of alphaB and PBmax did not result in significant temporal variation of the light-saturation onset parameter (Ek) and the overall mean value of Ek was 176 ± 6 µmol photons m-2 s-1. The high turbidity of near-shore surface waters of the western North Sea appears to restrict penetration of irradiance to the extent that phytoplankton are not exposed to PAR levels at which photoadaptation of their photosynthetic apparatus is induced.

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