Examination of particulate light absorption and microplankton metabolism in 36 northeastern Spanish aquatic ecosystems, ranging from alpine rivers to inland saline lakes and the open Mediterranean Sea, revealed the existence of general relationships between particulate light absorption and the biomass of phytoplankton and microplankton metabolism. The particulate absorption spectra reflected a dominance of nonphotosynthetic, likely detrital, particles in rivers and a dominance of phytoplankton in coastal lagoons. There was a strong relationship between the light absorbed by phytoplankton and the chlorophyll a (Chl a) concentration of the systems, which indicated an average (±SE) Chl a specific absorption coefficient of 0.0233 ± 0.0020 m2 · mg Chl a-1 for these widely diverse systems. Chl a concentration was a weaker predictor of the total particulate light absorption coefficient, pointing to an important role of nonphytoplanktonic particles in light absorption. Gross production was very closely related to the light absorption coefficient of phytoplankton, whereas community respiration was strongly correlated with the total particulate light absorption coefficient, indicating the optical signatures of sestonic particles to be reliable predictors of planktonic biomass and metabolism in aquatic ecosystems.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences|
|State||Published - Jan 1 2000|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Aquatic Science