Effect of phytoplankton adaptation on the distribution of its biomass and chlorophyll a concentration in the surface layer of the Black Sea

Liudmila Stelmakh, Tatiana Gorbunova

Paper category: Original research paper
Corresponding author: Liudmila Stelmakh (lustelm@mail.ru)
DOI: 10.2478/ohs-2019-0035
Received: 22/03/2019
Accepted: 15/05/2019
Full text: here

Citation (APA style): Stelmakh, L. & Gorbunova, T. (2019). Effect of phytoplankton adaptation on the distribution of its biomass and chlorophyll a concentration in the surface layer of the Black Sea. Oceanological and Hydrobiological Studies, 48(4), pp. 404-414. Retrieved 10 Dec. 2019, from doi:10.2478/ohs-2019-0035


Using the field data collected in the Black Sea in September 2005–May 2013, the authors studied the spatial variability of the ratio of organic carbon to chlorophyll a (C:Chl a) in the sea surface layer (0–1 m). The C:Chl a ratio is an important parameter that reflects the phytoplankton adaptation to abiotic factors. Its maximum variations occurred in September–October 2005 and October 2010 when the highest spatial variability of average light intensity and nitrogen concentration was observed in the upper mixed layer. As a result, the maps of phytoplankton biomass differed from chlorophyll maps. In August 2011, no effect of light or nitrogen on the spatial variability of the C:Chl a ratio was found. Changes in the contribution of dinoflagellates to the total phytoplankton biomass affected the C:Chl a ratio variability, which was two times lower compared to September–October 2005 and October 2010. Also, the spatial distribution of phytoplankton biomass differed from the distribution of chlorophyll a concentration only in some areas of the sea. In May 2013, environmental factors slightly varied across the study area and the spatial variability of the C:Chl a ratio was insignificant. Therefore, the map of phytoplankton biomass indicated similarities with the chlorophyll map.


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