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Phytoplankton biomass in Antarctic shelf zones: a conceptual model based on Potter Cove, King George Island
Schloss, I.; Ferreyra, G.A.; Ruiz-Pino, D. (2002). Phytoplankton biomass in Antarctic shelf zones: a conceptual model based on Potter Cove, King George Island. J. Mar. Syst. 36(3-4): 129-143. dx.doi.org/10.1016/s0924-7963(02)00183-5
In: Journal of Marine Systems. Elsevier: Tokyo; Oxford; New York; Amsterdam. ISSN 0924-7963, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Biomass; Environmental conditions; Growth; Phytoplankton; Primary production; Shallow water; Shelf fronts; Turbulent diffusion; Vertical mixing; PSW, Antarctica, South Shetland I., King George I., Potter Cove [Marine Regions]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Schloss, I.
  • Ferreyra, G.A.
  • Ruiz-Pino, D.

Abstract
    Antarctic coasts are usually considered productive areas. However, some shallow coastal areas are known to be HNLC systems where even if favourable conditions for phytoplankton growth are apparent, phytoplankton biomass remains low. This study aims to analyse the processes that may modulate phytoplankton biomass in Antarctic shallow coastal environments. In situ phytoplankton production and growth experiments from Potter Cove (King George Island, Antarctica) are related to the prevailing oceanographic and meteorological conditions. A conceptual model has been developed, relating Antarctic phytoplankton growth during the spring-summer season to winds, sea-ice extent and the influence of the inland on the light-mixing regime. An attempt has been made to find the environmental threshold values for the factors controlling phytoplankton accumulation. The results from applying such a model suggest that, in spite of high nutrient concentrations, the combination of the time scale of the physical factors affecting both the radiation penetrating the water column and the depth of vertical turbulent mixing explain the low phytoplankton biomass values observed. Application of this model to other high-latitude areas (open ocean and coastal zones) is discussed.

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