A multicomponent model of phytoplankton size structure

Brewin, RJW; Sathyendranath, S; Tilstone, GH; Lange, PK; Platt, T. 2014 A multicomponent model of phytoplankton size structure. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans, 119. 1-19. 10.1002/2014JC009859

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Abstract/Summary

Size-fractionated filtration (SFF) is a direct method for estimating pigment concentration in various size classes. It is also common practice to infer the size structure of phytoplankton communities from diagnostic pigments estimated by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). In this paper, the three-component model of Brewin et al. (2010) was fitted to coincident data from HPLC and from SFF collected along Atlantic Meridional Transect cruises. The model accounted for the variability in each data set, but the fitted model parameters differed for the two data sets. Both HPLC and SFF data supported the conceptual framework of the three-component model, which assumes that the chlorophyll concentration in small cells increases to an asymptotic maximum, beyond which further increase in chlorophyll is achieved by the addition of larger celled phytoplankton. The three-component model was extended to a multicomponent model of size structure using observed relationships between model parameters and assuming that the asymptotic concentration that can be reached by cells increased linearly with increase in the upper bound on the cell size. The multicomponent model was verified using independent SFF data for a variety of size fractions and found to perform well (0.628 ≤ r ≤ 0.989) lending support for the underlying assumptions. An advantage of the multicomponent model over the three-component model is that, for the same number of parameters, it can be applied to any size range in a continuous fashion. The multicomponent model provides a useful tool for studying the distribution of phytoplankton size structure at large scales.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Subjects: Biology
Ecology and Environment
Marine Sciences
Oceanography
Divisions: Plymouth Marine Laboratory > Science Areas > Sea from Space
Depositing User: Robert Brewin
Date made live: 30 Jun 2014 10:18
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2017 16:12
URI: http://plymsea.ac.uk/id/eprint/6110

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