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Open Access Spatiotemporal variability and trophic relations of bacterioplankton and phytoplankton in Cuban oceanic waters

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Studying the temporal variability of lower trophic levels allows a better understanding of the type and degree of coupling that exists in the pelagic ecosystem in the Caribbean region. The aim of the present study was to characterize the structure and functioning of the <20 μm planktonic fractions in oligotrophic oceanic waters of Cuba and their relation with environmental parameters, as well as the role played by heterotrophic components in the microbial loop in the pelagic ecosystem. The distribution of picoplanktonic and nanoplanktonic biomass in the oceanic waters of Cuba did not differ significantly among years in the same season. The highest biomass values were found in the northern vs the southern region, which may be related to coastal upwelling, as well as to the contributions of nutrients and organic matter from coastal ecosystems. Furthermore, the biomass of the heterotrophic component was much larger than that of the autotrophic component, confirming the role played by small (<20 μm) heterotrophic organisms in the microbial loop. The present findings may be useful for tracking future variation in bacterioplankton and phytoplankton in the Caribbean region.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Instituto de Ciencias del Mar (ICiMAR), Loma # 14 entre 35 y 37, Plaza de la Revolución, Havana, Cuba;, Email: [email protected] 2: Instituto de Ciencias del Mar (ICiMAR), Loma # 14 entre 35 y 37, Plaza de la Revolución, Havana, Cuba

Publication date: 01 April 2018

This article was made available online on 19 February 2018 as a Fast Track article with title: "Spatiotemporal variability and trophic relations of bacterioplankton and phytoplankton in Cuban oceanic waters".

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  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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