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Phytoplankton biomass and production in shelf waters off NW Spain: spatial and seasonal variability in relation to upwelling
Bode, A.; Casas, B.; Fernández, E.; Marañón, E.; Serret, P.; Varela, M. (1996). Phytoplankton biomass and production in shelf waters off NW Spain: spatial and seasonal variability in relation to upwelling. Hydrobiologia 341(3): 225-234.
In: Hydrobiologia. Springer: The Hague. ISSN 0018-8158; e-ISSN 1573-5117, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors | Datasets 

    Aquatic communities > Plankton > Phytoplankton
    Motion > Water motion > Vertical water movement > Upwelling
    Population characteristics > Biomass
Author keywords
    seasonal pattern; N-NW Spain

Authors  Top | Datasets 
  • Bode, A.
  • Casas, B.
  • Fernández, E.
  • Marañón, E.
  • Serret, P.
  • Varela, M.

    Chlorophyll-a and primary production on the euphotic zone of the N-NW Spanish shelf were studied at 125 stations between 1984 and 1992. Three geographic areas (Cantabrian Sea, Rías Altas and Was Baixas), three bathymetric ranges (20 to 60 m, 60 to 150 m and stations deeper than 200 m), and four oceanographic stages (spring and autumn blooms, summer upwelling, summer stratification and winter mixing) were considered. One of the major sources of variability of chlorophyll and production data was season. Bloom and summer upwelling stages have equivalent mean and maximum values. Average chlorophyll-a concentrations approximately doubled in every step of the increasing productivity sequence: winter mixing — summer stratification — high productivity (upwelling and bloom) stages. Average primary production rates increased only 60% in the described sequence. Mean (± sd) values of chlorophyll-a and primary production rates during the high productivity stages were 59.7 ± 39.5 mg Chl-a m-2 and 86.9 ± 44.0 mg C m-2 h-1, respectively. Significant differences in both chlorophyll and primary production resulted between geographic areas in most stages. Only 27 stations showed the effects of the summer upwelling that affected coastal areas in the Cantabrian Sea and Rías Baixas shelf, but also shelf-break stations in the Rías Altas area. The Rías Baixas area had lower chlorophyll than both the Rías Altas and the Cantabrian Sea areas during spring and autumn blooms, but higher during summer upwelling events. On the contrary, primary production rates were higher in the Rías Baixas area during blooms in spring and autumn. Mid-shelf areas showed the highest chlorophyll concentrations during high productivity stages, probably due to the existence of frontal zones in all geographic areas considered. The estimated phytoplankton growth rates were comparable to those of other coastal upwelling systems, with average values lower than the maximum potential growth rates. Doubling rates for upwelling and stratification stages in the northern and Rías Altas shelf areas were equivalent, despite larger biomass accumulations during upwelling events. Low turnover rates of the existing biomass in the Rías Baixas shelf in upwelling stages suggests that the accumulation of phytoplankton was due mainly to the export from the highly productive rías, while the contribution of in situ production to these accumulations was relatively lower.

Datasets (2)
  • Phytoplankton monitoring RADIALES - Section off Vigo (NW Spain, Galicia); coastal (station depth 39m); sampling depths 0, 5, 10 and 30m, more
  • Phytoplankton monitoring RADIALES - Section off Vigo (NW Spain, Galicia); mid-shelf (station depth 97m); sampling depths 0, 5, 10, 20 and 30m, more

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