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Free Content Effect of nutrient input frequency on the structure and dynamics of the marine pelagic community: A modeling approach

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An analysis of the induced changes in both total productivity and community structure as a consequence of different pulsed nutrient inputs has been made by using two different ecosystem modeling tools. One was a modified version of the N-based model proposed by Fasham et al. (1990) for pelagic ecosystems and the other the plankton functional type model by Vichi et al. (2007). Both models lead to higher total biomass production with a pulsed nutrient input compared to a continuous supply, affecting both phytoplankton and zooplankton. Detailed responses are, however, different among plankton groups depending on the frequency of pulsed nutrient input and the complexity of the model. The differences in biomass production were higher for an oscillation period of 150–170 days following a sinusoidal supply pattern. A tidal mixing-induced nutrient supply was also simulated by using both models and a larger biomass increment was observed compared to that obtained with the sinusoidal pattern. Finally, a theoretical application of this approach to the pelagic ecosystem of the North Western Alboran Sea shows a preferential selection of diatoms and larger zooplankton under discontinuous nutrient inputs.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2010

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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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