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Free Content Floral patterns in the California Current System off southern California: 1990-1996

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In 1990, CalCOFI cruises began routine collection of samples for the enumeration of phytoplankton species. From each quarterly cruise, nearsurface samples from 34 stations are pooled into four regional samples prior to counting. This paper summarizes the first 6.5 years of the program in order to identify major large-scale patterns of species composition and fluctuations.

A total of 312 species were recognized during this study. Recurrent group analysis defines two major floral clusters. The first is composed of diatoms characteristic of enriched regions. This cluster is most abundant in the northeastern region and often attains maximum abundances in the spring. Seventy-two percent of the variability of chlorophyll is accounted for by the variability of these species. The second cluster is composed of species common in the offshore central North Pacific. These species have relatively low spatial and temporal variability in the study region. There is no detectable seasonality. In neither cluster can interannual variability be detected above seasonal variability, spatial variability and error.

These patterns differ from the geographic patterns of zooplankton species in the region, which are often dominated by fauna from the subarctic North Pacific and transition zone. The apparent absence of a similar subarctic flora is briefly discussed.

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Document Type: Regular Paper

Publication date: January 1, 2002

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  • The Journal of Marine Research, one of the oldest journals in American marine science, 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. Biological studies involving coupling between ecological and physical processes are preferred over those that report systematics. The editors strive always to serve authors and readers in the academic oceanographic community by publishing papers vital to the marine research in the long and rich tradition of the Sears Foundation for Marine Research. We welcome you to the Journal of Marine Research.
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