Physical-biological coupling in the Algerian basin (SW Mediterranean): Influence of mesoscale instabilities on the biomass and production of phytoplankton and bacterioplankton

Xose Anxelu G. Moran*, Isabelle Taupier-Letage, Evaristo Vázquez-Domínguez, Simón Ruiz, Laura Arin, Patrick Raimbault, Marta Estrada

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

94 Scopus citations

Abstract

The biomass and production of phytoplankton and bacterioplankton was investigated in relation to the mesoscale structures found in the Algerian Current during the ALGERS'96 cruise (October 1996). Biological determinations were carried out in three transects between 0°and 2°E aimed at crossing a so-called event, formed by a coastal anticyclonic eddy associated with an offshore cyclonic eddy to the west. The concentration of chlorophyll a (Chl) was maximum (> 1.2 mg m-3) within the Cyclonic eddy and at the frontal zones between the Modified Atlantic Water (MAW) of the Algerian Current and the Mediterranean waters further north. Chl (total and > 2 μm) was significantly correlated with proxies of nutrient flux into the upper layers. Autotrophic picoplankton and heterotrophic bacterial abundance and production presented clear differences between MAW and Mediterranean water, with higher values at those stations under the influence of the Algerian Current. In general, greater differences were observed in production than in biomass variables. The photosynthetic parameters (derived from P-E relationships) and integrated primary production (range 189-645 mg m-2 d-1) responded greatly to the different hydrological conditions. The mesoscale phenomena inducing fertilization caused a 2 to 3-fold increase in primary production rates. The relatively high Values found within the cyclonic eddy suggest that, although short-lived in comparison with anticyclonic eddies, these eddies may produce episodic increases of biological production not accounted for in previous surveys in the region. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)405-437
Number of pages33
JournalDeep-Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers
Volume48
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001

Keywords

  • Algerian basin
  • Bacteria
  • Bacterial production
  • Mediterranean
  • Mesoscale
  • P-E relationships
  • Phytoplankton
  • Primary production

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science

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