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Estimation of phytoplankton photosynthesis and nutrient limitation in the Eastern Scheldt estuary using variable fluorescence
Kromkamp, J.; Peene, J. (1999). Estimation of phytoplankton photosynthesis and nutrient limitation in the Eastern Scheldt estuary using variable fluorescence. Aquat. Ecol. 33(1): 101-104
In: Aquatic Ecology. Springer: Dordrecht; London; Boston. ISSN 1386-2588, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Abstract
    Since the completion in 1986 of a storm-surge barrier in the Eastern Scheldt estuary (The Netherlands) the water transparency has increased considerably. Because of compartment dams most of the nutrient imports from the rivers Rhine and Meuse have decreased. As a result, the light- and silicate-limitation experienced by the phytoplankton in the pre-barrier period changed most likely into a limitation of silicate and dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) in the postbarrier period (Wetsteyn & Kromkamp, 1994). Primary production did not change significantly. In order to check if the assumptions about nutrient-limitation were correct, we set out to measure nutrient-limitation of phytoplankton in 1996 by measuring the maximum quantum efficiency (Fv/Fm) using a PAM fluorometer, according to the principles of Falkowski and co-workers (e.g. Kolber & Falkowski, 1993). The hypothesis used is that nutrient limited algae have a lower maximum quantum efficiency than light limited algae (Kolber et al., 1988; Flameling & Kromkamp, 1998). We also used variable fluorescence measurements to estimate photosystem II (PSII) electron transport as a measure of the rate of photosynthesis, and compared this with C-fixation rates.

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