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Nutrient, chlorophyll, and water clarity relationships in Florida's nearshore coastal waters with comparisons to freshwater lakes

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Abstract:

Models relating chlorophyll to nutrients and Secchi depth to chlorophyll using data from nearshore coastal waters of Florida were successfully developed. The models suggest that phosphorus is the primary limiting factor for phytoplankton in the nearshore coastal waters of Florida and that total phosphorus concentration accounts for 81% of the variance in chlorophyll concentration. The models also show that chlorophyll is the dominant factor determining Secchi depth in nearshore coastal waters of Florida and that chlorophyll concentrations account for 68% of the variance in Secchi depth. Thus, these models are robust and should be useful for eutrophication management of Florida's coastal marine systems. The models developed with data from nearshore coastal waters of Florida are similar to models developed for freshwater lakes in Florida, but the amount of chlorophyll per unit of phosphorus and Secchi depth per unit of chlorophyll are both significantly less for marine samples. This suggests that the chlorophyll to biovolume ratios in the nearshore coastal waters of Florida are less than in freshwater systems of Florida. Therefore, nutrient to chlorophyll and chlorophyll to Secchi depth models developed for freshwater systems are probably ill suited for use in Florida's marine systems.

Nous avons élaboré des modèles efficaces qui relient la chlorophylle aux nutriments et la profondeur de Secchi à la chlorophylle à l'aide de données récoltées dans les eaux côtières près du littoral de la Floride. Les modèles indiquent que le phosphore est le principal facteur limitant du phytoplancton dans ces eaux et que la concentration de phosphore total explique 81 % de la variance de la concentration de chlorophylle. De plus, la chlorophylle est le facteur principal qui détermine la profondeur de Secchi et les concentrations de chlorophylle expliquent 68 % de la variance de la profondeur de Secchi. Ces modèles s'avèrent donc robustes et devraient être utiles pour gérer l'eutrophisation des systèmes marins côtiers de la Floride. Les modèles élaborés à partir de données provenant des eaux côtières près du littoral de la Floride sont semblables à ceux qui ont été créés pour les lacs d'eau douce de la Floride, mais la quantité de chlorophylle par unité de phosphore et la profondeur de Secchi par unité de chlorophylle sont significativement moins grandes en milieu marin. Il semble donc que les rapports entre la chlorophylle et le biovolume sont plus petits dans les eaux marines côtières de la Floride que dans les milieux d'eau douce du même état. En conséquence, les modèles élaborés en eau douce, qui mettent en relation les nutriments et la chlorophylle ainsi que la chlorophylle et la profondeur de Secchi, s'appliqueront assez mal aux systèmes marins de la Floride.[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2002

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  • Published continuously since 1901 (under various titles), this monthly journal is the primary publishing vehicle for the multidisciplinary field of aquatic sciences. It publishes perspectives (syntheses, critiques, and re-evaluations), discussions (comments and replies), articles, and rapid communications, relating to current research on cells, organisms, populations, ecosystems, or processes that affect aquatic systems. The journal seeks to amplify, modify, question, or redirect accumulated knowledge in the field of fisheries and aquatic science. Occasional supplements are dedicated to single topics or to proceedings of international symposia.
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