Biological productivity, determined with C14 techniques, in offshore blue waters of southern Puerto Rico is about 5.0 mg C m–3 hr–1 under conditions of near light saturation, whereas the brown waters in protected inshore areas, with rich
blooms of phytoflagellates, exhibit much greater photosynthetic activity, ranging up to 900 mg C m–3 hr–1. Productivity determinations in Phosphorescent Bay average about 45 mg C m–3 hr–1, which lies between the extremes of
low oceanic and very high local bloom values. Assimilation numbers varied widely from 1.0 to 13.0 for the diverse plankton communities. Phytoflagellate populations adapted to tropical conditions sometimes show increasing carbon assimilation up to full sunlight intensity (130,000 lux). The
calculated daily productivity of square meter water columns varies over a wide range from 0.8 g C m–2 day–1 to 8.3 g C m–2 day–1 depending upon the abundance and vitality of the photosynthetic organisms.
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