Spatial Variability in Phytoplankton Standing Crop and Composition in a Shallow Inner-Shelf Lagoon, Florida Bay, Florida
Abstract:Spatial and temporal patterns of phytoplankton standing crop and composition in Florida Bay were studied for a 6-month period. Significant spatial differences were observed supporting the hypothesis that the bay is composed of a number of ecologically distinct regions. The highest standing crops of planktonic algae and cyanobacteria were found in the central-interior region of the bay, where the small unicellular cyanobacterium Synechococcus dominated the planktonic assemblage. Chlorophyll a concentrations ranged from 8–40 mg m–3 in this region, and Synechococcus was responsible for nearly 100% of total phytoplankton biovolume, In other regions of the bay total chlorophyll a concentrations were significantly lower and the relative importance of diatoms and dinoflagellates increased in relationship to total phytoplankton biovolume, Model relationships between chlorophyll a and total nutrient concentrations supported the commonly held view that the primary limiting nutrient in the bay may be phosphorus. However, the strong presence of a potentially nitrogen-fixing species of cyanobacteria indicates that nitrogen must be considered in evaluating the limiting status of planktonic primary production.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: January 1, 1996
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