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Surface phytoplankton pigment distributions in the Atlantic Ocean: an assessment of basin scale variability between 50N and 50S

Surface phytoplankton pigment distributions in the Atlantic Ocean: an assessment of basin scale variability between 50N and 50S
Surface phytoplankton pigment distributions in the Atlantic Ocean: an assessment of basin scale variability between 50N and 50S
We present an overview of the spatial distributions of phytoplankton pigments along transects between the UK and the Falkland Islands. These studies, undertaken as a component of the UK Atlantic Meridional Transect (AMT) programme, provided the first post-launch validation data for the NASA SeaWiFS satellite. Pigment data are used to characterise basin-scale variations in phytoplankton biomass and community composition over 100° of latitude, and to compliment the definition of hydrographic oceanic provinces. A summary of the key pigment characteristics of each province is presented.
Concentrations of total chlorophyll a (totCHLa = chlorophyll a, CHLa + divinyl CHLa, dvCHLa) were greatest in high latitude temperate waters (>37°N and >35°S), and in the Canary Current Upwelling system. In these regions, the total carotenoid (totCAR) budget was dominated by photosynthetic carotenoids (PSCs). High accessory pigment diversity was observed of which fucoxanthin (FUC), 19'–hexanoyloxyfucoxanthin (HEX), and diadinoxanthin (DIAD) were most abundant, indicating proliferation of large eukaryotes and nanoflagellates. In contrast, tropical and sub-tropical waters exhibited concentrations of totCHLa below 500 ng l?1, with the North Atlantic Sub-tropical East gyre (NASE, 26.7–35°N), South Equatorial Current (SeqC, 7–14.6°S) and South Atlantic tropical Gyre (SATG, 14.6–26°S) characterised by totCHLa of <100 ng?1. These waters exhibited relatively limited pigment diversity, and the totCAR budget was dominated by photoprotecting pigments (PPCs) of which zeaxanthin (ZEA), a marker of prokaryotes (cyanobacteria and prochlorophytes), was most abundant. DvCHLa, a marker of prochlorophytes was detected in waters at temperatures >15°C, and between the extremes of 48°N and 42°S. DvCHLa accounted for up to two-thirds of totCHLa in oligotrophic provinces demonstrating the importance of prochlorophytes to oceanic biomass.
Overall, HEX was the dominant PSC, contributing up to 75% of totCAR. HEX always represented >2% of totCAR and was the only truly ubiquitous carotenoid. Since HEX is a chemotaxonomic marker of prymnesiophytes, this observation reflects the truly cosmopolitan distribution of this algal class. ZEA was found to be the most abundant PPC contributing more than one third of the total carotenoid budget in each transect.
Greatest seasonality was observed in highly productive waters at high latitudes and in shallow continental shelf waters and attributed to proliferation of large eukaryotes during spring. Concentrations of the prokaryote pigments (ZEA + dvCHLa) also exhibited some seasonality, with elevated concentrations throughout most of the transect during Northern Hemisphere spring.
AMT, ATLANTIC OCEAN, ATLANTIC MERIDIONAL TRANSECT, RESEARCH PROGRAMMES, PHYTOPLANKTON, PIGMENTS, SEAWIFS, OPTICAL PROPERTIES, REMOTE SENSING
0079-6611
339-368
Gibb, S.W.
93a3cf9e-1215-4ab4-b7fe-7cff7f71fd59
Barlow, R.G.
55921118-2e61-4fd0-bcc9-fac953c0aaa4
Cummings, D.G.
18d05eac-9619-41fd-b254-436cd9475ffd
Rees, N.W.
afa9831e-5c52-4f05-85ae-20822bab1a72
Trees, C.C.
7f49a2b4-1c7f-4305-b11d-648ebc7a635e
Holligan, P.
4c1d9d64-dfa7-49bf-9e15-37f891d59b7c
Suggett, D.
406cba16-d177-46c9-b9c8-56b3c35176aa
Gibb, S.W.
93a3cf9e-1215-4ab4-b7fe-7cff7f71fd59
Barlow, R.G.
55921118-2e61-4fd0-bcc9-fac953c0aaa4
Cummings, D.G.
18d05eac-9619-41fd-b254-436cd9475ffd
Rees, N.W.
afa9831e-5c52-4f05-85ae-20822bab1a72
Trees, C.C.
7f49a2b4-1c7f-4305-b11d-648ebc7a635e
Holligan, P.
4c1d9d64-dfa7-49bf-9e15-37f891d59b7c
Suggett, D.
406cba16-d177-46c9-b9c8-56b3c35176aa

Gibb, S.W., Barlow, R.G., Cummings, D.G., Rees, N.W., Trees, C.C., Holligan, P. and Suggett, D. (2000) Surface phytoplankton pigment distributions in the Atlantic Ocean: an assessment of basin scale variability between 50N and 50S. Progress in Oceanography, 45 (3/4), 339-368. (doi:10.1016/S0079-6611(00)00007-0).

Record type: Article

Abstract

We present an overview of the spatial distributions of phytoplankton pigments along transects between the UK and the Falkland Islands. These studies, undertaken as a component of the UK Atlantic Meridional Transect (AMT) programme, provided the first post-launch validation data for the NASA SeaWiFS satellite. Pigment data are used to characterise basin-scale variations in phytoplankton biomass and community composition over 100° of latitude, and to compliment the definition of hydrographic oceanic provinces. A summary of the key pigment characteristics of each province is presented.
Concentrations of total chlorophyll a (totCHLa = chlorophyll a, CHLa + divinyl CHLa, dvCHLa) were greatest in high latitude temperate waters (>37°N and >35°S), and in the Canary Current Upwelling system. In these regions, the total carotenoid (totCAR) budget was dominated by photosynthetic carotenoids (PSCs). High accessory pigment diversity was observed of which fucoxanthin (FUC), 19'–hexanoyloxyfucoxanthin (HEX), and diadinoxanthin (DIAD) were most abundant, indicating proliferation of large eukaryotes and nanoflagellates. In contrast, tropical and sub-tropical waters exhibited concentrations of totCHLa below 500 ng l?1, with the North Atlantic Sub-tropical East gyre (NASE, 26.7–35°N), South Equatorial Current (SeqC, 7–14.6°S) and South Atlantic tropical Gyre (SATG, 14.6–26°S) characterised by totCHLa of <100 ng?1. These waters exhibited relatively limited pigment diversity, and the totCAR budget was dominated by photoprotecting pigments (PPCs) of which zeaxanthin (ZEA), a marker of prokaryotes (cyanobacteria and prochlorophytes), was most abundant. DvCHLa, a marker of prochlorophytes was detected in waters at temperatures >15°C, and between the extremes of 48°N and 42°S. DvCHLa accounted for up to two-thirds of totCHLa in oligotrophic provinces demonstrating the importance of prochlorophytes to oceanic biomass.
Overall, HEX was the dominant PSC, contributing up to 75% of totCAR. HEX always represented >2% of totCAR and was the only truly ubiquitous carotenoid. Since HEX is a chemotaxonomic marker of prymnesiophytes, this observation reflects the truly cosmopolitan distribution of this algal class. ZEA was found to be the most abundant PPC contributing more than one third of the total carotenoid budget in each transect.
Greatest seasonality was observed in highly productive waters at high latitudes and in shallow continental shelf waters and attributed to proliferation of large eukaryotes during spring. Concentrations of the prokaryote pigments (ZEA + dvCHLa) also exhibited some seasonality, with elevated concentrations throughout most of the transect during Northern Hemisphere spring.

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More information

Published date: 2000
Keywords: AMT, ATLANTIC OCEAN, ATLANTIC MERIDIONAL TRANSECT, RESEARCH PROGRAMMES, PHYTOPLANKTON, PIGMENTS, SEAWIFS, OPTICAL PROPERTIES, REMOTE SENSING

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 8968
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/8968
ISSN: 0079-6611
PURE UUID: 62a4814e-5d59-4031-aba2-2cb9576f27c1

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Date deposited: 10 Sep 2004
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 17:12

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