Light Absorption by Suspended Particles in the Red Sea: Effect of Phytoplankton Community Size Structure and Pigment Composition

Kheireddine, M, Ouhssain, M, Organelli, E, Bricaud, A and Jones, BH 2018 Light Absorption by Suspended Particles in the Red Sea: Effect of Phytoplankton Community Size Structure and Pigment Composition. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans.

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The light absorption properties of phytoplankton (aph(λ)) and non-algal particles (anap(λ)) associated with phytoplankton pigments were analyzed across the Red Sea, in the upper 200 m depth, between October 2014 and August 2016. The contribution by non-algal particles to the total particulate light absorption (aph(λ)+ anap(λ)) was highly variable (23 ± 17% at 440 nm) and no relationship between anap(440) and chlorophyll a concentration, [TChl a], was observed. Phytoplankton specific phytoplankton absorption coefficients at 440 and 676 nm for a given [TChl a], aph*(440) and aph*(676), were slightly higher than those derived from average relationships for open ocean waters within the surface layer as well as along the water column. Variations in the concentration of photosynthetic and photoprotective pigments were noticeable by changes in phytoplankton community size structure as well as in aph*(λ). This study revealed that a higher proportion of picophytoplankton and an increase in photoprotective pigments (mainly driven by zeaxanthin) tended to be responsible for the higher aph*(λ) values found in the Red Sea as compared to other oligotrophic regions with similar [TChl a]. Understanding this variability across the Red Sea may help improve the accuracy of biogeochemical parameters, such as [TChl a], derived from in situ measurements and ocean color remote sensing at a regional scale.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: An edited version of this paper was published by AGU. Copyright (2018) American Geophysical Union.
Additional Keywords: phytoplankton, light absorption, algal pigments, community structure, Red Sea
Subjects: Earth Observation - Remote Sensing
Earth Sciences
Ecology and Environment
Marine Sciences
Divisions: Plymouth Marine Laboratory > Science Areas > Earth Observation Science and Applications
Depositing User: Dr E Organelli
Date made live: 20 Mar 2018 10:29
Last Modified: 25 Apr 2020 09:58

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