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Measuring phytoplankton primary production: review of existing methodologies and suggestions for a common approach. EcApRHA Deliverable WP 3.2
Kromkamp, J.; Capuzzo, E.; Philippart, C.J.M. (2017). Measuring phytoplankton primary production: review of existing methodologies and suggestions for a common approach. EcApRHA Deliverable WP 3.2. [S.n.]: [s.l.]. ISBN 9781911458272. 24 pp.

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  • Kromkamp, J.
  • Capuzzo, E.
  • Philippart, C.J.M., more

    Executive SummaryThe importance of the phytoplankton production indicator is clearly stated in the MSFD‐Foodweb homepage1: “the phytoplankton production indicator can reflect several pressures (e. g. hydrological changes,contaminants, nutrient inputs or climate changes). Hence, this indicator is highly sensitive and can be usefulas an early warning indicator for direct pressure on food webs. In a trophic context, primary production isprobably the most accurate metric for phytoplankton. Indeed, it is an indicator of potential matter flowneeded by higher trophic levels to produce”.However, Primary Production (PP) is not part yet of the OSPAR’s Joint Assessment and MonitoringProgramme (JAMP)(OSPAR Agreement 2014‐03), the Agreement which describes the strategy, themes andproducts that OSPAR Contracting Parties are committed to deliver. There are several reasons for this, butmost likely the method for measuring PP (e.g. the 14C‐technique) has been time‐consuming, expensive,labour intensive and limited by health‐and‐safety regulations.In this technical background document, part of EcApRHA Deliverable WP3.2, we give a short overview ofcurrent and new methods for measuring primary production. This document supports FW2 (Production ofphytoplankton) as a candidate indicator and proposes options for a common approach to measuringprimary production for OSPAR Contracting Parties.Currently, most primary production measurements are based on variations of the 14C‐technique whichmeasures the uptake of 14CO2 by algal biomass. This document highlights the pros and cons of thistechnique as well as of techniques based on measurements of changes in the oxygen concentration in thewater (either by using bottles or by measuring changes in the ambient O2‐concentration in the water). Newhigh resolution techniques, described in this report, are very promising: the fourier based oxygen methodand Fast Repetition Rate Fluorometry (FRRF). The former needs more testing, but the latter can already beused and is currently applied within the framework of the EU‐H2020 project Jericho‐next and the DutchMONEOS and IN‐PLACE programs. Measurements by FRRF are automated; however, as this methodmeasures the production of electron, calibration against C‐uptake measurements is necessary.Optical methods to measure PP are also described in this document. Application of remote sensing isadvised as it provides synoptic information about PP in the different OSPAR waters. We describe twoapproaches to estimate PP from remote sensing based on chlorophyll concentration (Biomass), photicdepth (P) and daily incident irradiance (I) (BPI models). Parametrization of the BPI model is necessary andcan be done using any technique to measure PP.It is advised that a combination of FRRF and remote sensing should be used by the OSPAR member statesfor developing a uniform monitoring strategy of phytoplankton production across OSPAR waters.

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