Sources of uncertainty in assessment of marine phytoplankton communities

Karsten Mikael Dromph, Susana Agusti, Alberto Basset, Javier Franco, Peter Henriksen, John Icely, Sirpa Lehtinen, Snejana Moncheva, Marta Revilla, Leonilde Roselli, Kai Sørensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

Characterisation of phytoplankton communities is important for classification of the ecological status of marine waters. In order to design a monitoring programme, it is important to know what degree of variation in the measurements occur at each level (water body, station and sample), so that resources can be spent in a way that maximise the precision of the measured parameters. Seven European water bodies were sampled to assess the variation in pigment concentrations and population densities attributed to water body, station and sample levels. It was found that the main proportion of the variation between pigment measurements was explained by the variation between stations (12-91% of variation) followed by the variation between water bodies (0-89% of variation). For measurements of population density, the main proportion of the variation between densities of cells recorded was explained by the variation between the taxonomists counting the samples (61%), whilst the main proportion of the variation between numbers of taxa recorded was explained by the variation between water bodies (83%). When the cell density of the nine dominant classes were analysed separately, the main proportion of variation was explained at the water body level for all but two class.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)253-264
Number of pages12
JournalHydrobiologia
Volume704
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013

Keywords

  • Monitoring
  • Observer effect
  • Phytoplankton
  • Pigments
  • Sample sorting
  • Uncertainty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science

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