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The application of high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) in monitoring the eutrophication of algal blooms in the Belgian coastal zone (BCZ) of the North Sea
Ilyas, M. (2005). The application of high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) in monitoring the eutrophication of algal blooms in the Belgian coastal zone (BCZ) of the North Sea. MSc Thesis. Universiteit Antwerpen/Vrije Universiteit Brussel: Brussel. 66 pp.

Thesis info:

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  • VLIZ: Theses I1 [74235]
  • VLIZ: Non-open access 229970
Document type: Dissertation

    Algal blooms; Eutrophication; HPLC; Monitoring; Phaeocystis Lagerheim, 1893 [WoRMS]; ANE, Belgium, Belgian Coast [gazetteer]; ANE, Belgium, Belgian Continental Shelf (BCS) [gazetteer]; Marine

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  • Ilyas, M.

    In understanding and managing the phytoplankton blooms along the Belgian Coastal Zone (BCZ), rapid, simplified and precise of techniques in monitoring systems are crucial. We used 3 techniques for monitoring phytoplankton in the Belgian Coastal Zone (BCZ) of the North Sea in 2004: pigment analysis using HPLC, microscopic analysis of phytoplankton and in situ measurements of total chlorophyll using a fluorometer. In situ fluorometer recordings of chlorophyll a concentration indicated that the phytoplankton spring bloom in the BCZ of the North Sea started earlier in the western part than in the eastern part of the BCZ and started earlier near-shore than off-shore. This was ascribed to an existing gradient in water column turbidity and water depth in the BCZ. These observations suggest that the spring bloom was strongly regulated by variations underwater light intensities. Microscopical analyses indicated that a Phaeocystis bloom was restricted to March. Cell densities attained by Phaeocystis exceeded bloom levels (1 million cell I-I) at all stations in April. For HPLC analysis we used a relatively recently developed method (Garrido and Zapata 1997) with some minor modifications. In contrast to a method that has been used in a previous, similar study (Gonzales, et al., 2004), this method was able to separate the chlorophyll c's, which are important indicator pigments for diatoms and Phaeocystis, the two major phytoplankton groups in the BCZ of the North Sea. However, in terms of quantification of pigments, the method proved to be problematic. Chlorophyll a concentrations were unrealistically low and did not display a clear seasonal or spatial trend. Other pigments, too, did not appear to be quantified correctly neither as no relation was found between chlorophyll C3 and the major alga containing this pigment in the BCZ of the North Sea, Phaeocystis. We tested whether this problem was related to the extraction solvent used, but this was not the case. Unfortunately, due to technical problems with the HPLC systems shortly after the analysis of our samples, we were not able to do any further tests to find out where the problem was situated.

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