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An analysis of phytoplankton dynamics in the Belgian Coastal Zone of the North Sea based on microscopical cell counts and pigment analysis
Töpke, K. (2009). An analysis of phytoplankton dynamics in the Belgian Coastal Zone of the North Sea based on microscopical cell counts and pigment analysis. MSc Thesis. Universiteit Gent; MARELAC: Gent. 48 pp.

Thesis info:
    Universiteit Gent; Faculteit Wetenschappen; Vakgroep Biologie; Msc. Advanced studies in marine and lacustrine sciences (MARELAC), more

Available in  Author | Dataset 
    VLIZ: Non-open access 216702
Document type: Dissertation

Keywords
    Cell count; Phytoplankton; Pigments; Population dynamics; ANE, Belgium, Belgian Coast [Marine Regions]; Marine

Author  Top | Dataset 

Abstract
    Spatial and temporal succession of phytoplankton in the Belgian Coastal Zone (BCZ) of the North Sea was studied by monthly monitoring of phytoplankton biomass and community composition using microscopical cell counts, HPLC pigment analysis with CHEMTAX and multivariate analysis using CANOCO. The BCZ is a very dynamic area which is strongly influenced by river discharges. It is characterized by highly variable chlorophyll, suspended particulate matter and nutrient concentrations. The monthly monitoring revealed a succession of three distinct diatom communities. This succession was the same at each station, but the timing of this succession differed between the SW and NE part of the BCZ. It also showed that the spring bloom started one month earlier in the SW part than in the NE part. Higher nutrient input and water column turbidity were found in the NE part, so variation in light availability probably is responsible for this difference. Differences in biomass between years could be linked with environmental and weather conditions by using CANOCO. These biomasses could be clustered according to years or seasons. Potentially harmful algal blooms, that can reach a high biomass or can produce toxins, occurred frequently in the BCZ. Examples of these harmful algae are Phaeocystis and certain dinoflagellates. A close relation was seen between the intensity of Phaeocystis blooms and the availability of inorganic nutrients (N and P) before the onset of the bloom. Spatial variation was seen in the magnitude of these blooms with more intense blooms at the NE coast than at the SW coast.

Dataset
  • Marine phytoplankton community composition data in the Belgian part of the North Sea between 1968 and 2010., more

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