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Phytoplankton patchiness: quantifying the biological contribution using Fast Repetition Rate Fluorometry


Strutton, PG and Mitchell, JG and Parslow, JS and Greene, RM, Phytoplankton patchiness: quantifying the biological contribution using Fast Repetition Rate Fluorometry, Journal of Plankton Research, 19, (9) pp. 1265-1274. ISSN 0142-7873 (1997) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 1997 Oxford University Press

DOI: doi:10.1093/plankt/19.9.1265


The coupling between physical and biological processes is important in the marine environment because phytoplankton growth and turbulent miring operate on similar time scales. Since the 1970s, the relative contribution of these two parameters to phytoplankton patchiness has been studied using analytical tools such as spectral analysis. Here, for the first time, we combine spectral analysis with Fast Repetition Rate Fluorometry as a method of quantifying the importance of photosynthetic efficiency in the biological-physical interactions that lead to oceanic chlorophyll distributions. The results indicate that photosynthetic efficiency is correlated with the sum of the corresponding chlorophyll power spectrum; a measure of the total spatial variability of chlorophyll. In addition, high photosynthetic rates are associated with regions where the spatial distributions of chlorophyll and salinity differ, as quantified by the slopes of their respective power spectra. The results are particularly evident at large spatial scales, representing an empirical verification of previous theoretical work regarding phytoplankton spatial structure.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:phytoplankton, spatial structure
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Oceanography
Research Field:Biological oceanography
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the earth sciences
UTAS Author:Strutton, PG (Professor Peter Strutton)
ID Code:138650
Year Published:1997
Web of Science® Times Cited:28
Deposited By:Oceans and Cryosphere
Deposited On:2020-04-20
Last Modified:2020-07-24

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