Controls of picophytoplankton abundance and composition in a highly dynamic marine system, the Northern Alboran Sea (Western Mediterranean)
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AuthorsAmorim, A. (Ana); León, P. (Pablo); Mercado-Carmona, J.M. (Jesús Mariano); Cortés-Delgado, M.D. (María Dolores); Gómez-Jakobsen, F.J. (Francisco José); Putzeys, Sebastien; Salles, S. (Soluna); Yebra, L. (Lidia)
The Alboran Sea is a highly dynamic basin which exhibits a high spatio-temporal variability of hydrographic structures (e.g. fronts, gyres, coastal upwellings). This work compares the abundance and composition of picophytoplankton observed across the northern Alboran Sea among eleven cruises between 2008 and 2012 using flow cytometry. We evaluate the seasonal and longitudinal variability of picophytoplankton on the basis of the circulation regimes at a regional scale and explore the presence of cyanobacteria ecotypes in the basin. The maximal abundances obtained for Prochlorococcus, Synechococcus and picoeukaryotes (12.7 × 104, 13.9 × 104 and 8.6 × 104 cells mL− 1 respectively) were consistent with those reported for other adjacent marine areas. Seasonal changes in the abundance of the three picophytoplankton groups were highly significant although they did not match the patterns described for other coastal waters. Higher abundances of Prochlorococcus were obtained in autumn-winter while ...
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