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Free Content The significance of subsurface chlorophyll, nitrite and ammonium maxima in relation to nitrogen for phytoplankton growth in stratified waters of the Gulf of Maine

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Data on the distributions in summer of phytoplankton and inorganic nutrients in the Gulf of Maine and across Georges Bank are presented. The chlorophyll maximum represents a phytoplankton biomass maximum and occurs at a depth where both light and nitrate availability allow net growth of the population. The dominant species were generally flagellates and included the toxic dinoflagellate, Gonyaulax tamarensis var. excavata, at some stations. The ammonium and nitrite profiles suggest that nitrification is occurring at the base of the pycnocline below the chlorophyll maximum, and this may be an important source of nitrate during the summer months. The highest levels of nitrite and ammonium were found over the slopes of Georges Bank.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: November 1, 1984

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  • The Journal of Marine Research publishes peer-reviewed research articles covering a broad array of topics in physical, biological and chemical oceanography. Articles that deal with processes, as well as those that report significant observations, are welcome. In the area of biology, studies involving coupling between ecological and physical processes are preferred over those that report systematics. Authors benefit from thorough reviews of their manuscripts, where an attempt is made to maximize clarity. The time between submission and publication is kept to a minimum; there is no page charge.
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