Decrease in diatom palatability contributes to bloom formation in the Western English Channel

Polimene, L; Mitra, A; Sailley, SF; Ciavatta, S; Widdicombe, CE; Atkinson, A; Allen, JI. 2015 Decrease in diatom palatability contributes to bloom formation in the Western English Channel. Progress in Oceanography, 137. 484-497. 10.1016/j.pocean.2015.04.026

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pocean.2015.04.026

Abstract/Summary

The aim of this paper is to investigate the role of phytoplankton nutritional status in the formation of the spring bloom regularly observed at the station L4 in the Western English Channel. Using a modelling approach, we tested the hypothesis that the increase in light from winter to spring induces a decrease in diatom nutritional status (i.e., an increase in the C:N and C:P ratios), thereby reducing their palatability and allowing them to bloom. To this end, a formulation describing the Stoichiometric Modulation of Predation (SMP) has been implemented in a simplified version of the European Regional Seas Ecosystem Model (ERSEM). The model was coupled with the General Ocean Turbulence Model (GOTM), implemented at the station L4 and run for 10 years (2000-.2009). Simulated carbon to nutrient ratios in diatoms were analysed in relation to microzooplankton biomass, grazing and assimilation efficiency. The model reproduced in situ data evolutions and showed the importance of microzooplankton grazing in controlling the early onset of the bloom. Simulation results supported our hypothesis and provided a conceptual model explaining the formation of the diatom spring bloom in the investigated area. However, additional data describing the microzooplankton grazing impact and the variation of carbon to nutrient ratios inside phytoplanktonic cells are required to further validate the proposed mechanisms.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Additional Keywords: PRODUCER-GRAZER SYSTEMS; PHYTOPLANKTON BLOOMS; GRAZING IMPACT; FOOD QUALITY; LIGHT; MODEL; DYNAMICS; GROWTH; PREY; ECOSYSTEM
Subjects: Marine Sciences
Oceanography
Divisions: Plymouth Marine Laboratory > Science Areas > Marine Ecosystem Models and Predictions
Depositing User: Sevrine Sailley
Date made live: 17 Feb 2016 14:49
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2017 16:15
URI: http://plymsea.ac.uk/id/eprint/6832

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