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On the use of optical remote sensing to assess phytoplankton biomass dynamics in the Pelagos Sanctuary (Ligurian-Provençal Sea)

On the use of optical remote sensing to assess phytoplankton biomass dynamics in the Pelagos Sanctuary (Ligurian-Provençal Sea)
On the use of optical remote sensing to assess phytoplankton biomass dynamics in the Pelagos Sanctuary (Ligurian-Provençal Sea)
If Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are to aid in protecting and conserving marine ecosystems in the face of extensive and severe impacts of human activities, underpinning scientific knowledge and understanding of MPAs are imperative. This study aims to describe and evaluate phytoplankton dynamics in a pelagic Mediterranean MPA (The Pelagos International Marine Mammals Sanctuary) in the north-western Mediterranean Sea as a means to understand better the spatial and temporal distribution of basal ecosystem resources. Ocean colour data collected by orbital remote sensing (Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor [SeaWiFS] data) were analysed to elucidate spatial and temporal variations in the concentration of chlorophyll-like pigments (chl). Mean chl images were generated for consecutive 10-day periods, to provide quasi-continuous coverage of the study area, combined with a Principal Component Analysis and analysis of a time series ​(1998–2004). The chl surface patterns traced seasonal upwelling events recurring annually, demonstrating the critical role of physical oceanography in sustaining the food web of the PelagosSanctuary. Phytoplankton blooms, however, differ in terms of peak timing, spatial distribution and chl concentration, due in part to the influence of broad-scale environmental factors that are beyond direct and regional control. Further research is needed to elucidate the relationship between the biomass of primary and secondary producers to understand better the implications of phytoplankton biomass distribution in space and time for charismatic and protected biota such as cetaceans.
Marine protected areas, Ligurian Sea, Ocean colour, phytoplankton biomass, historical series
28-39
Manca Zeichen, M.
b963ba6e-5dae-4cd3-ac08-dbcd9f7c3d4b
Finoia, M.G.
b14f70fe-e9d9-4a7e-85f4-a42c96822f7d
Shaw, P.J.
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Robinson, I.S.
548399f7-f9eb-41ea-a28d-a248d3011edc
Barale, V.
e3564251-a115-4f7e-b585-4a04541b5e59
Manca Zeichen, M.
b963ba6e-5dae-4cd3-ac08-dbcd9f7c3d4b
Finoia, M.G.
b14f70fe-e9d9-4a7e-85f4-a42c96822f7d
Shaw, P.J.
935dfebf-9fb6-483c-86da-a21dba8c1989
Robinson, I.S.
548399f7-f9eb-41ea-a28d-a248d3011edc
Barale, V.
e3564251-a115-4f7e-b585-4a04541b5e59

Manca Zeichen, M., Finoia, M.G., Shaw, P.J., Robinson, I.S. and Barale, V. (2017) On the use of optical remote sensing to assess phytoplankton biomass dynamics in the Pelagos Sanctuary (Ligurian-Provençal Sea). Regional Studies in Marine Science, 12, 28-39. (doi:10.1016/j.rsma.2017.03.001).

Record type: Article

Abstract

If Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are to aid in protecting and conserving marine ecosystems in the face of extensive and severe impacts of human activities, underpinning scientific knowledge and understanding of MPAs are imperative. This study aims to describe and evaluate phytoplankton dynamics in a pelagic Mediterranean MPA (The Pelagos International Marine Mammals Sanctuary) in the north-western Mediterranean Sea as a means to understand better the spatial and temporal distribution of basal ecosystem resources. Ocean colour data collected by orbital remote sensing (Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor [SeaWiFS] data) were analysed to elucidate spatial and temporal variations in the concentration of chlorophyll-like pigments (chl). Mean chl images were generated for consecutive 10-day periods, to provide quasi-continuous coverage of the study area, combined with a Principal Component Analysis and analysis of a time series ​(1998–2004). The chl surface patterns traced seasonal upwelling events recurring annually, demonstrating the critical role of physical oceanography in sustaining the food web of the PelagosSanctuary. Phytoplankton blooms, however, differ in terms of peak timing, spatial distribution and chl concentration, due in part to the influence of broad-scale environmental factors that are beyond direct and regional control. Further research is needed to elucidate the relationship between the biomass of primary and secondary producers to understand better the implications of phytoplankton biomass distribution in space and time for charismatic and protected biota such as cetaceans.

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2017 Regional Studies in Marine Science - Version of Record
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 1 March 2017
e-pub ahead of print date: 7 March 2017
Published date: April 2017
Keywords: Marine protected areas, Ligurian Sea, Ocean colour, phytoplankton biomass, historical series
Organisations: Ocean and Earth Science, Civil Engineering & the Environment, Physical Oceanography, Centre for Environmental Science

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 408269
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/408269
PURE UUID: 7cac42ab-6e0a-49bd-b254-e389135dc75b
ORCID for P.J. Shaw: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-0925-5010

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 18 May 2017 04:02
Last modified: 28 Apr 2022 01:38

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Contributors

Author: M. Manca Zeichen
Author: M.G. Finoia
Author: P.J. Shaw ORCID iD
Author: I.S. Robinson
Author: V. Barale

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