Timing of nutrient depletion, diatom dominance and a lower-boundary estimate of export production for Irminger Basin, North Atlantic

Henson, Stephanie A., Sanders, Richard, Holeton, Claire and Allen, John T. (2006) Timing of nutrient depletion, diatom dominance and a lower-boundary estimate of export production for Irminger Basin, North Atlantic. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 313, 73-84. (doi:10.3354/meps313073).


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Original Publication URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3354/meps313073


During the North Atlantic spring bloom, a seasonal phytoplankton community succession takes place from diatoms to non-siliceous phytoplankton. Diatoms rely on silica to form their frustules and are out-competed by other species when silica becomes depleted. Diatoms are also expected to contribute significantly to export production in the North Atlantic. We suggest that a lower boundary to export production can be estimated as the component of total production that occurs between the start of the spring bloom and the time when silica becomes depleted.

This method has been tested in the Irminger Basin, located between Greenland and Iceland, in the North Atlantic. A technique to estimate silica concentration from satellite-derived sea surface temperature and chlorophyll a concentration has been developed and used to determine silica concentration at high spatial and temporal resolution. This facilitates an estimation of the timing of silica depletion and thus the timing of the transition from a phytoplankton community dominated by diatoms to dominance by non-siliceous species. The timing of the initiation of the bloom, defined as a pronounced and sustained increase in biomass, is estimated from a Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-View Sensor (SeaWiFS)-derived chlorophyll a concentration. A lower-boundary estimate of export production is made and, additionally, estimates of the contribution to export production by diatoms and non-diatoms are made by considering silica-to-nitrate drawdown ratios. We estimate export production in this region to be ~60 gC m–2 yr–1, of which diatoms account for ~65%.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.3354/meps313073
ISSNs: 0171-8630 (print)
Related URLs:
Keywords: seawifs, silica depletion, export production, community composition, spring bloom timing
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GC Oceanography
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Ocean & Earth Science (SOC/SOES)
University Structure - Pre August 2011 > National Oceanography Centre (NERC)
ePrint ID: 40808
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
11 May 2006Published
Date Deposited: 10 Jul 2006
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 12:11
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/40808

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