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Episodic meteorological and nutrient-load events as drivers of coastal ecosystem dynamics: a time series analysis

AuthorsGuadayol, Òscar ; Peters, Francesc ; Marrasé, Cèlia ; Gasol, Josep M. ; Roldán, Cristina ; Berdalet, Elisa ; Massana, Ramon ; Sabata, Anna
KeywordsEpisodic meteorological forcing
Coastal osmotrophic plankton
Terrestrial runoff
Sediment resuspension
Time series
NW Mediterranean
Issue Date17-Apr-2009
PublisherInter Research
CitationMarine Ecology Progress Series 381: 139–155 (2009)
AbstractIn temperate coastal zones, episodic meteorological forcing can have a strong impact on the classical seasonal phytoplankton succession. Episodes of continental runoff and wind storms involve nutrient enrichment and turbulence, 2 factors that can promote primary production and alter the planktonic community species composition and size structure. We determined the joint influence of these 2 variables on the osmotrophic plankton of an oligotrophic NW Mediterranean open bay. We used an 8 yr long time series of monthly physical, chemical and biological water-column parameters, and we looked for correlations between these and several meteorological and physical high- frequency time series through cross-correlation analyses. Influence of river runoff in this particular location was found to be very important for phytoplankton dynamics, whereas no immediate response of bacterioplankton was detected. Resuspension events caused by waves had a secondary importance. Cross correlations allowed defining a sequence of responses to these types of forcing, from changes in water turbidity and salinity, to increases in phytoplankton and bacteria abundances through nutrient enrichments. The maximum response of the ecosystem in terms of chlorophyll a concentration lagged nutrient enrichment events by about 1 wk. A more detailed analysis was performed between June 2003 and June 2004, a period characterised by an intense drought in summer and by 6 strong meteorological events afterwards. The increase in the frequency of meteorological events during this period drove the system from heterotrophy to autotrophy. Our data stress the importance of episodic meteorological events in coastal planktonic communities.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.3354/meps07939
Appears in Collections:(ICM) Artículos
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