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Picoplankton community structure on the Atlantic Meridional Transect: a comparison between seasons

Picoplankton community structure on the Atlantic Meridional Transect: a comparison between seasons
Picoplankton community structure on the Atlantic Meridional Transect: a comparison between seasons
Samples collected from 10 depths at 25 stations in September–October 1996 and 12 depths at 28 stations in April–May 1997 on an Atlantic Meridional Transect between the British Isles and the Falkland Islands were analysed by flow cytometry to determine the numbers and biomass of four categories of picoplankton: Prochlorococcus spp, Synechococcus spp, picoeukaryotic phytoplankton and heterotrophic bacteria. The composition of the picoplankton communities confirmed earlier findings (Zubkov, Sleigh, Tarran, Burkill & Leakey, 1998) about distinctive regions along the transect and indicated that the stations should be grouped into five provinces: northern temperate, northern Atlantic gyre, equatorial, southern Atlantic gyre and southern temperate, with an intrusion of upwelling water off the coast of Mauritania between the northern Atlantic gyre and equatorial waters. Prochlorococcus was the most numerous phototrophic organism in waters of both northern and southern gyres and in the equatorial region, at concentrations in excess of 0.1×106ml?1; it also dominated plant biomass in the gyres, but the biomass of the larger picoeukaryotic algae equalled that of Prochlorococcus in the equatorial region; higher standing stocks of both Prochlorococcus and picoeukaryotes were present in spring than in autumn in waters of both gyres. In temperate waters at both ends of the transect the numbers and biomass of picoeukaryotes and, more locally, of Synechococcus increased, and the Synechococcus, particularly, were more numerous in spring than in autumn. There was a pronounced southward shift of the main populations of both Synechococcus and Prochlorococcus in April–May in comparison to those of September–October, associated with seasonal changes in solar radiation, the abundance of Prochlorococcus dropping sharply near the 17°C contour, while Synechococcus was still present at temperatures below 10°C. Picoeukaryotes were more tolerant of low temperatures and lower light levels, often being more abundant in samples from greater depths, where they contributed to the deep chlorophyll maximum. Heterotrophic bacterial numbers and biomass tended to be highest in those samples where phototrophic biomass was greatest, with peaks in temperate and equatorial waters, which were shifted southwards in April–May compared with September–October.
0079-6611
369-386
Zubkov, Mikhail V.
b1dfb3a0-bcff-430c-9031-358a22b50743
Sleigh, Michael A.
56f48166-32e6-4bc8-bc02-bc0667280989
Burkill, Peter H.
511b68df-1664-418f-baa1-b1075f1e1fed
Leakey, Raymond J. G.
3ff10ff8-14a1-4a65-9222-6f18441d59b0
Zubkov, Mikhail V.
b1dfb3a0-bcff-430c-9031-358a22b50743
Sleigh, Michael A.
56f48166-32e6-4bc8-bc02-bc0667280989
Burkill, Peter H.
511b68df-1664-418f-baa1-b1075f1e1fed
Leakey, Raymond J. G.
3ff10ff8-14a1-4a65-9222-6f18441d59b0

Zubkov, Mikhail V., Sleigh, Michael A., Burkill, Peter H. and Leakey, Raymond J. G. (2000) Picoplankton community structure on the Atlantic Meridional Transect: a comparison between seasons. Progress in Oceanography, 45 (3-4), 369-386. (doi:10.1016/S0079-6611(00)00008-2).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Samples collected from 10 depths at 25 stations in September–October 1996 and 12 depths at 28 stations in April–May 1997 on an Atlantic Meridional Transect between the British Isles and the Falkland Islands were analysed by flow cytometry to determine the numbers and biomass of four categories of picoplankton: Prochlorococcus spp, Synechococcus spp, picoeukaryotic phytoplankton and heterotrophic bacteria. The composition of the picoplankton communities confirmed earlier findings (Zubkov, Sleigh, Tarran, Burkill & Leakey, 1998) about distinctive regions along the transect and indicated that the stations should be grouped into five provinces: northern temperate, northern Atlantic gyre, equatorial, southern Atlantic gyre and southern temperate, with an intrusion of upwelling water off the coast of Mauritania between the northern Atlantic gyre and equatorial waters. Prochlorococcus was the most numerous phototrophic organism in waters of both northern and southern gyres and in the equatorial region, at concentrations in excess of 0.1×106ml?1; it also dominated plant biomass in the gyres, but the biomass of the larger picoeukaryotic algae equalled that of Prochlorococcus in the equatorial region; higher standing stocks of both Prochlorococcus and picoeukaryotes were present in spring than in autumn in waters of both gyres. In temperate waters at both ends of the transect the numbers and biomass of picoeukaryotes and, more locally, of Synechococcus increased, and the Synechococcus, particularly, were more numerous in spring than in autumn. There was a pronounced southward shift of the main populations of both Synechococcus and Prochlorococcus in April–May in comparison to those of September–October, associated with seasonal changes in solar radiation, the abundance of Prochlorococcus dropping sharply near the 17°C contour, while Synechococcus was still present at temperatures below 10°C. Picoeukaryotes were more tolerant of low temperatures and lower light levels, often being more abundant in samples from greater depths, where they contributed to the deep chlorophyll maximum. Heterotrophic bacterial numbers and biomass tended to be highest in those samples where phototrophic biomass was greatest, with peaks in temperate and equatorial waters, which were shifted southwards in April–May compared with September–October.

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Published date: April 2000

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 63153
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/63153
ISSN: 0079-6611
PURE UUID: 5cc59aad-48f1-46cb-93bb-643723bc8488

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Date deposited: 15 Sep 2008
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 14:18

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