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Title

Bacterioplankton and phytoplankton biomass and production during summer stratification in the northwestern Mediterranean Sea

AuthorsPedrós-Alió, Carlos ; Calderón-Paz, Juan I.; Guixa-Boixareu, Núria; Estrada, Marta ; Gasol, Josep M.
Issue DateJun-1999
PublisherPergamon Press
CitationDeep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers 46(6): 985-1019 (1999)
AbstractWe examined bacterioplankton biomass and heterotrophic production (BHP) during summer stratification in the northwestern Mediterranean in four successive stratification seasons (June-July of 1993-1996). Values of phytoplankton biomass and primary production were determined simultaneously so that the data sets for autotrophic and heterotrophic microbial plankton could be compared. Three standard stations were set along a transect from Barcelona to the channel between Mallorca and Menorca, representing coastally influenced shelf waters, frontal waters over the slope front, and open sea waters. Conversion factors from 3H-leucine incorporation to BHP were empirically determined and varied between 0.29 and 3.25 kg C mol-1. Bacterial biomass values were among the lowest found in any marine environment. BHP values (between 0.02 and 2.5 μg C L-1 d-1) were larger than those of low nutrient low chlorophyll areas such as the Sargasso Sea and lower than those from high nutrient low chlorophyll areas such as the equatorial Pacific. Growth rates of bacterioplankton were highest at the slope front (0.20 d-1) and lowest at the open sea station (0.04 d-1). Phytoplankton growth rates were similar at the three stations (~ 0.50 d-1). Integrated values of bacterioplankton biomass, BHP and bacterial growth rates did not show significant differences among years, but differences between the three stations were clearly significant. Phytoplankton biomass, primary production, and phytoplankton growth rates did not show significant differences either with year or with station. As a consequence the bacterioplankton to phytoplankton biomass (BB/BPHY) and production (BHP/PP) ratios varied from the coastal to the open sea stations. The BB/BPHY ratio was 0.98 at the coast and ~ 0.70 at the other two stations. These ratios are similar to those found in other oligotrophic marine environments. The BHP/PP ratio was 0.83 at the coast, 0.36 at the slope and 0.09 at the open sea station. The last value is also similar to values found in other oligotrophic marine environments. Vertical distribution of these ratios was also examined. The comparison of microbial parameters at the three stations indicates a different kind of relationship between bacterioplankton and phytoplankton in oligotrophic open sea waters and in coastal, nutrient-richer waters. According to such parameters and to the values of the BB/BPHY and BHP/PP ratios, open waters in the northwestern Mediterranean (despite their relatively short distance from the shore) were intermediate between the extremely oligotrophic waters of the eastern Mediterranean or the Sargasso Sea and the more productive waters of the equatorial Pacific
Description35 pages, 12 figures, 5 tables
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.1016/S0967-0637(98)00106-X
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/173742
Identifiersdoi: 10.1016/S0967-0637(98)00106-X
issn: 0967-0637
e-issn: 1879-0119
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