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Thin phytoplankton layers: Characteristics, mechanisms, and consequences
Durham, W.M.; Stocker, R. (2012). Thin phytoplankton layers: Characteristics, mechanisms, and consequences. Ann. Rev. Mar. Sci. 4: 177-207.
In: Annual Review of Marine Science. Annual Reviews: Palo Alto, Calif. ISSN 1941-1405, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

Author keywords
    trophic hotspot, marine ecology, phytoplankton motility, hydrodynamic shear, turbulent dispersion

Authors  Top 
  • Durham, W.M.
  • Stocker, R.

    For over four decades, aggregations of phytoplankton known as thin layers have been observed to harbor large amounts of photosynthetic cells within narrow horizontal bands. Field observations have revealed complex linkages among thin phytoplankton layers, the physical environment, cell behavior, and higher trophic levels. Several mechanisms have been proposed to explain layer formation and persistence, in the face of the homogenizing effect of turbulent dispersion. The challenge ahead is to connect mechanistic hypotheses with field observations to gain better insight on the phenomena that shape layer dynamics. Only through a mechanistic understanding of the relevant biological and physical processes can we begin to predict the effect of thin layers on the ecology of phytoplankton and higher organisms.

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