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The effects of diel changes in circulation and mixing on the longitudinal distribution of phytoplankton in a canyon-shaped Mediterranean reservoir

AuthorsVidal, Javier ; Moreno-Ostos, Enrique; Escot, Carmelo; Quesada, R.; Rueda, Francisco J.
Issue DateSep-2010
PublisherBlackwell Publishing
CitationFreshwater Biology 55(9): 1945-1957 (2010)
Abstract1. The near-surface distribution of phytoplankton cells along the thalweg of a canyon-shaped reservoir (El Gergal, southern Spain) during two surveys is described and interpreted as the result of time-varying large-scale circulation patterns, vertical mixing processes and the physiological capacity of algal cells to regulate its position in the water column. 2. Vertical gradients of chlorophyll-a concentration developed in the water column during the day but disappeared at night, as a result of the shoaling and deepening of the diurnal mixed layer (dml). The changes in the depth of the dml are largely controlled in El Gergal by convectively driven mixing processes. The longitudinal circulation changes, in turn, as a result of weak and diurnal land-sea breezes. The distribution of algal cells was patchy at all times but did not change during any of the surveys. 3. An expression is proposed to estimate time scales for the development of horizontal patchiness TP based on simple concepts of transport. It is shown that TP is in the order of a week, indicating that horizontal patchiness does not respond immediately to hourly changes in the controlling factors. The magnitude of TP, though, depends on how the vertical distribution of chlorophyll-a and longitudinal currents change on subdiurnal time scales. In particular, TP is sensitive to the lag existing between the momentum and heat fluxes through the free surface, driving circulation and vertical mixing
Description13 pages, 6 figures
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2427.2010.02428.x
Identifiersdoi: 10.1111/j.1365-2427.2010.02428.x
issn: 0046-5070
e-issn: 1365-2427
Appears in Collections:(UTM) Artículos
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