Nitrogen uptake of phytoplankton assemblages under contrasting upwelling and downwelling conditions: The Ría de Vigo, NW Iberia

Seeyave, S; Probyn, T; Alvarez-Salgado, XA; Figueiras, FG; Purdie, DA; Barton, ED; Lucas, MI. 2013 Nitrogen uptake of phytoplankton assemblages under contrasting upwelling and downwelling conditions: The Ría de Vigo, NW Iberia. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 124. 1-12. 10.1016/j.ecss.2013.03.004

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecss.2013.03.004

Abstract/Summary

Regenerated production (including organic nitrogen) is shown here to be important in the Ria de Vigo (Galicia, NW Iberia) in supporting both harmful algal bloom communities during the downwelling season, but also (to a lesser extent) diatom communities during stratified periods of weak to moderate upwelling. The Galician Rias, situated in the Iberian upwelling system, are regularly affected by blooms of toxic dinoflagellates, which pose serious threats to the local mussel farming industry. These tend to occur towards the end of summer, during the transition from upwelling to downwelling favourable seasons, when cold bottom shelf waters in the rias are replaced by warm surface shelf waters. Nitrate, ammonium and urea uptake rates were measured in the Ria de Vigo during a downwelling event in September 2006 and during an upwelling event in June 2007. In September the ria was well mixed, with a downwelling front observed towards the middle of the ria and relatively high nutrient concentrations (1.0-2.6 mu mol L-1 nitrate; 1.0-5.6 mu mol L-1 ammonium; 0.1-0.8 mu mol L-1 phosphate; 2.0-9.0 mu mol L-1 silicic acid) were present throughout the water column. Ammonium represented more than 80% of the nitrogenous nutrients, and the phytoplankton assemblage was dominated by dinoflagellates and small flagellates. In June the water column was stratified, with nutrient-rich, upwelled water below the thermocline and warm, nutrient-depleted water in the surface. At this time, nitrate represented more than 80% of the nitrogenous nutrients, and a mixed diatom assemblage was present. Primary phytoplankton production during both events was mainly sustained by regenerated nitrogen, with ammonium uptake rates of 0.035-0.063 mu mol N L-1 h(-1) in September and 0.078-0.188 mu mol N L-1 h(-1) in June. Although f-ratios were generally low (<0.2) in both June and September, a maximum of 0.61 was reached in June due to higher nitrate uptake (0.225 mu mol N L-1 h(-1)). Total nitrogen uptake was also higher during the upwelling event (0.153-0.366 in June and 0.053-0.096 mu mol N L-1 h(-1) in September). Nitrogen uptake kinetics demonstrated a strong preference for ammonium and urea over nitrate in June.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Subjects: Marine Sciences
Oceanography
Divisions: Plymouth Marine Laboratory > Science Areas > Cycling in the Sunlit Ocean
Depositing User: Mrs Julia Crocker
Date made live: 27 Feb 2014 17:04
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2017 16:10
URI: http://plymsea.ac.uk/id/eprint/5571

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