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Spatial and temporal variability of phytoplankton biomass, primary production and community structure in the Pontevedra Ria (NW Iberian Peninsula): oceanographic periods and possible response to environmental changes
Varela, M.; Prego, R.; Pazos, Y. (2008). Spatial and temporal variability of phytoplankton biomass, primary production and community structure in the Pontevedra Ria (NW Iberian Peninsula): oceanographic periods and possible response to environmental changes. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 154(3): 483-499. hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00227-008-0943-x
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Varela, M.
  • Prego, R.
  • Pazos, Y.

Abstract
    The spatial distribution of phytoplankton assemblages, chlorophyll, primary production and physical and chemical parameters were studied in the Pontevedra Ria in Galicia (NW Iberian Peninsula) from October 1997 to October 1998. In addition to the usual oceanographic periods described for the Galician Coast, two other periods were observed: a Prebloom or winter bloom, occurring during calm, sunny days in winter and a Continental period, related to the allochthonous intrusion of low salinity water from the Miño River in late spring. The phytoplankton biomass and production in both periods reached values of up to 145 mgChl-a m-2 and 3.6 gC m-2 day-1, respectively, which were similar to those found in summer upwelling blooms. Throughout the year, the phytoplankton biomass and primary production gradients along the ria’s axis were highly dependent on the balance between upwelling and runoff. When the latter prevailed, increased values were measured toward the inner ria, while the opposite pattern was observed during summer upwelling blooms. According to projections derived from climate models and the analysis of wind patterns, temperature and precipitation trends in the area, a drop in the productivity of the ria would be expected as a result of reduced upwelling intensity in summer and decreasing rainfall in spring. In any case the estuarine part of the ria would be the most seriously affected.

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