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Title: Phytoplankton communities and biomass size structure (fractionated chlorophyll ``a��), along trophic gradients of the Basque coast (northern Spain)
Authors: Garmendia, Maialen; Revilla, Marta; Bald, Juan; Franco, Javier; Orive, Emma; Seoane, Sergio; Borja, Angel; Laza-Martinez, Aitor; Valencia, Victoriano
Citation: BIOGEOCHEMISTRY, 2011, 106, 243-263
Abstract: Eutrophication is a major threat to coastal ecosystems. Within Europe, the Water Framework Directive (WFD) has established the need of developing methods of assessment. Bulk chlorophyll ``a�� is used world-wide as an indicator of eutrophication. However, the size structure of the phytoplankton communities has not been investigated, in detail, in relation to eutrophication pressures. This study investigates the suitability of fractionated chlorophyll ``a�� (< 10 and > 10 mu m), as an indicator of eutrophication. Along the Basque coast (northern Spain) several water bodies, ranging from offshore waters to the heads of the estuaries, were surveyed during 2008. Physico-chemical conditions and chlorophyll ``a�� showed a distinct spatial gradient. Trophic richness increased towards the middle and inner parts of the estuaries, where nutrient inputs, from natural or anthropogenic sources, together with the residence time of the water are usually higher. In summer, phytoplankton biomass and abundance decreased, generally, in offshore and coastal waters; in estuaries, they tended to increase. The chlorophyll distribution within the two size fractions was coherent with the phytoplankton taxonomic composition. In summer, the relative abundance of small-sized cells (diatoms and non-siliceous taxa) increased. The relationships between size-fractionated chlorophyll and physico-chemical variables differed, when comparing the offshore and coastal waters, with the estuaries. In the offshore and coastal waters, a strong seasonality was observed; in estuaries, an important spatial component was found. Fractionated chlorophyll provided complementary useful information on anthropogenic pressures. However, more research is necessary to utilise this variable as a tool for ecological status assessment, within the WFD.
Issue Date: 2011
Publisher: SPRINGER
Type: Article
Language: English
DOI: 10.1007/s10533-010-9445-2
ISSN: 0168-2563
Funder: Water Agency (Uragentzia) of the Basque Government [CTM2006-09583]
European Regional Development Fund (FEDER)
Spanish Ministry of Education and Science (MEC)
MEC [PTQ04-3-0595]
Basque Government (Department of Education, Universities and Investigation)
Appears in Publication types:Artículos científicos

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