West indian ocean phyto plankton a numerical investigation of phyto hydrographic regions and their characteristic phyto plankton associations

Thorrington-Smith, M.

Marine Biology 9(2): 115-137

1971


ISSN/ISBN: 0025-3162
DOI: 10.1007/bf00348251
Accession: 006916433

Download citation:  
Text
  |  
BibTeX
  |  
RIS

Article/Abstract emailed within 0-6 h
Payments are secure & encrypted
Powered by Stripe
Powered by PayPal

Abstract
Phytoplankton samples were collected from a large area of the West Indian Ocean and 237 different species identified. The object of this study was to define structure in the species distributions and to relate this to environmental factors. Numerical methods of cluster analysis are described, with adaptation and application to this ecological study of phytoplankton. The phytoplankton stations were grouped according to their phytoplankton populations; these groupings were related firstly to the monsoon seasons, and secondly to the hydrology, in order to derive phytohydrographic regions. The species were then grouped according to hydrographical distribution in order to derive the floral elements (species associations) which typify the different regions. The samples divided seasonally into 2 overlapping clusters, those sampled prior to the South West Monsoon, and those sampled subsequently. In both seasonal groups 4 main phytohydrographic regions were isolated from (1) equatorial subsurface water; (2) the equatorial undercurrent boundary; (3) the South Equatorial Current; (4) the surface tropical water. A total of 11 different floral elements were derived to account for the phytohydrographic groupings. The distribution of the largest element (50 species) was centred in equatorial subsurface water. This element dominated all samples, and was considered to comprise the endemic Indian Ocean flora. The effects of the other minor floral elements were superimposed on the dominance or otherwise of this element in the samples. These different minor floral elements were characteristic of (a) different seasonal divisions; (b) regional differences in equatorial subsurface water; (c) traversing currents; (d) nutrientrich regions of instability.

West indian ocean phyto plankton a numerical investigation of phyto hydrographic regions and their characteristic phyto plankton associations