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Phytoplankton and fronts in the German Bight
Hesse, K.; Liu, Z.; Schaumann, K. (1989). Phytoplankton and fronts in the German Bight, in: Ros, J.D. (Ed.) Topics in Marine Biology: Proceedings of the 22nd European Marine Biology Symposium, Barcelona, Spain, August 1987. Scientia Marina (Barcelona), 53(2-3): pp. 187-196
In: Ros, J.D. (Ed.) (1989). Topics in Marine Biology: Proceedings of the 22nd European Marine Biology Symposium, Barcelona, Spain, August 1987. Scientia Marina (Barcelona), 53(2-3). Instituto de Ciencias del Mar: Barcelona. 145-754 pp., more
In: Scientia Marina (Barcelona). Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas. Institut de Ciènces del Mar: Barcelona. ISSN 0214-8358, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in Authors 
    VLIZ: Proceedings [16911]
Document type: Conference paper

Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Hesse, K.
  • Liu, Z.
  • Schaumann, K.

Abstract
    There are two distinct frontal systems in the German Bight: a tidal mixing front north of the East Frisian Islands and a river plume front deriving mainly from the Elbe river in the East. Phytoplankton species composition revealed significant differences between these two types of fronts. The distribution of chlorophyll a and phytoplankton carbon showed maxima at both fronts in spring; however, the standing crop at the tidal mixing front was dominated to more than 90 % by autotrophic nanoflagellates with low photosynthethic rate (0.72 µg C µg Chl a-1 l-1), whereas neritic diatoms with relatively high photosynthetic activity (4 µg C µg Chl a-1 l-1) formed more than 90% of the peak at the river plume front. It is supposed that the diatom peak at the Elbe river plume front was generated and maintained there by increased water column stability in conjunction with an improved nutrient supply, whereas the nanoflagellate maximum at the tidal mixing front is traced back to convergent accumulation. In summer, during periods of calm weather, even small frontal gradients may lead to high biomass accumulations of particularly the dinoflagellates Ceratium fusus and Noctiluca scintillans. Both species are typical for the summer plankton in this area. The Ceratium fusus biomass reached values of more than 1 mg C l-1 in the surface waters adjacent to the front, whereas the Noctiluca concentration amounted to as much as 4 mg C l-1. The former showed an unusually high percentage of aberrant forms in the frontal peak, which may be a result of chemical interference.

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