Nutrient supply controls picoplankton community structure during three contrasting seasons in the NW Mediterranean Sea.
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AuthorsHojas, Elena; Cermeño, P. (Pedro); Chouciño, P. (Paloma); Fernández, B.; Latasa, M. (Mikel); Marañón, E. (Emilio); Morán, X.A.G. (Xosé Ánxelu Gutiérrez); Vidal, M. (Montserrat)
We investigated the influence of ocean mixing and nutrient supply dynamics on picoplankton community composition in the context of Margalef’s Mandala (Margalef 1978). Simultaneous measurements of microturbulence, nutrient concentration, and autotrophic and heterotrophic picoplankton properties, were collected during 3 cruises carried out in the northwestern Mediterranean Sea in March (F1), April/May (F2) and September (F3) 2009. The 3 cruises sampled different oceanographic conditions, starting with early stages of the late winter-early spring bloom, followed by the late stage of the bloom, and finally summer stratification. As a result of the variability in vertical diffusivity and the nitrate gradient across the nitracline, nitrate vertical fluxes were higher during F1 (23 ± 35 mmol m−2 d−1), compared to F2 (0.4 ± 0.2 mmol m−2 d−1) and F3 (0.09 ± 0.09 mmol m−2 d−1). Prochlorococcus abundance was low when nitrate supply was high, Synechococcus exhibited the highest ...
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