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Phyto plankton ecology in the southern benguela current southwestern africa 3. dynamics of a bloom



Phyto plankton ecology in the southern benguela current southwestern africa 3. dynamics of a bloom



Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 63(3): 239-248



The development of a phytoplankton bloom was studied by placing a drogue in a patch of cold upwelled water and following the water mass for 4-5 days. Chaetoceros compressus Laud and Skeletonema costatum (Grev.) Cleve dominated the bloom which reached its peak in 3 days. In this period chlorophyll a concentrations increased by 19.2 mg .cntdot. m-3 in the euphotic zone while the concomitant decrease in nitrate concentration was 18.7 mg-at. NO3-N .cntdot. m-3. There was an overall increase in the concentration of protein with the highest concentration (412.9 mg .cntdot. m-3) being measured just prior to the peak of the bloom. Carbohydrate concentrations increased rapidly during the day but decreased at night. The pattern of 14C assimilation at the 50% light intensity was characterized by high activity in the polysaccharide fraction as the bloom developed, but at the peak of the bloom a greater percentage of the label was found in the ethanol-soluble fraction. The percent incorporation into protein was greater at night than during the day. These physiological changes are related to the growth pattern of the bloom.

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