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Identification of dominant phytoplankton functional types in the Mediterranean Sea based on a regionalized remote sensing approach

AuthorsNavarro, Gabriel ; Alvain, S.; Vantrepotte, V.; Huertas, I. Emma
KeywordsPhytoplankton functional types
Mediterranean Sea
Ocean color
Issue DateSep-2014
CitationRemote Sensing of Environment 152: 557-575 (2014)
AbstractDuring the last decade, the analysis of the ocean color satellite imagery has allowed determining the dominant phytoplankton groups in surface waters through the development of bio-optical models aimed at identifying the main phytoplankton functional types (PFTs) or size classes from space. One of these bio-optical model is PHYSAT, which is a global method applied for oceanic Case I water and used to identify in satellite pixels specific dominant phytoplankton groups, such as nanoeukaryotes, Prochlorococcus, Synechococcus, diatoms, Phaeocystis-like and coccolithophores. Here, we present a regionalized version of the PHYSAT method that has been specifically developed for the Mediterranean Sea due to the peculiarities of phytoplankton assemblages and succession than can be found in the basin and its particular optical properties. The updated version of the method, the so called PHYSAT-Med, has been validated successfully with large in situ datasets available for this oceanic region, mainly for nanoeukaryotes, Prochlorococcus, Synechococcus and diatoms. PHYSAT-Med allows to include a much higher number of pixels for the Mediterranean than PHYSAT does, through the use of a new Look-Up-Table created specifically for this oceanic region. Results provided by PHYSAT-Med showed the dominance of Synechococcus versus prochlorophytes throughout the year at the basin level, although nanoeukaryotes were more abundant during winter months. In addition, PHYSAT-Med data identified a rise in the eukaryote biomass (mainly diatoms) during the spring period (March to April), especially in the Ligurian and Adriatic seas. PHYSAT-Med represents a useful tool for the spatio-temporal monitoring of different dominant phytoplankton functional types in Mediterranean surface waters at a high resolution. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.
Publisher version (URL)http://doi.org/10.1016/j.rse.2014.06.029
Identifiersdoi: 10.1016/j.rse.2014.06.029
issn: 0034-4257
Appears in Collections:(ICMAN) Artículos
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