Nutrient-phytoplankton interrelationships in the Eastern Tropical Pacific Ocean

Thomas, William H. (1977) Nutrient-phytoplankton interrelationships in the Eastern Tropical Pacific Ocean. Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission Bulletin, 17(3), pp. 171-212.

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Abstract

ENGLISH: Near surface nutrient distributions in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean, using data from the EASTROPAC Expedition of 1967-68 and pre~EASTROPAC data, are described. Nutrient concentrations were maximal along the equator, in the Peru Current and its offshore extension, and in the Costa Rica Dome and westward tensions of this feature. Nutrient-poor water was found north of the equator well offshore. In this water nitrate was often undetectable (<0.1 µg-at/liter) at the surface, but phosphate and silicic acid concentrations were moderate. Enrichment experiments showed that nitrogen was the primary limiting nutrient in poor water even though large amounts of organic N were found. Half saturation constants (K s ) were determined for ammonium-supported phytoplankton growth. These data were used to calculate near-surface primary productivity values which compared favorably with 14C values. Assimilation ratio measurements indicated that algae were not extremely nitrogen-deficient. Laboratory-determined K, values for phosphate and silicic acid indicated that these nutrients were rarely limiting. In rich water, chlorophyll levels were less than expected from nutrient levels, and this anomaly may be related to limitation by nutrients other than nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), or silicon (Si), or to grazing. SPANISH: Se describe la distribución subsuperficial de los nutrientes en el Océano Pacífico oriental tropical, empleando los datos de la Expedición EASTROPAC de 1967~68 y datos anteriores a éstos. La concentración de nutrientes fue máxima a lo largo del ecuador, en la Corriente del Perú, en su prolongación mar afuera, en el Domo de Costa Rica y en las prolongaciones occidentales de esta característica. Se encontraron aguas pobres en nutrientes al norte del ecuador y bastante mar adentro. En estas aguas el nitrato era casi imperceptible (<0.1 µg-at/litro) en la superficie, pero las concentraciones de fosfato y ácido silícico fueron moderadas. Los experimentos de enriquecimiento indicaron que el nitrógeno era el principal nutriente limitante en aguas pobres, aun cuando se encontraron grandes cantidades de nitrógeno orgánico. Se determinaron las constantes de saturación media (K s ) para el desarrollo del fitoplancton sostenido por el amonio. Estos datos se emplearon para calcular los valores de la productividad primaria cerca a la superficie que pueden compararse favorablemente con los valores del 14C. Las medidas de la proporción de asimilación indican que las algas no tenían una deficiencia extremada de nitrógeno. Los valores determinados en el laboratorio de K, para el fosfato y ácido silícico indicaron que estos nutrientes limitaron rara vez la producción. En aguas ricas, los niveles de clorofila fueron inferiores a lo esperado según los niveles nutritivos y esta anomalía puede relacionarse a la alimentación o a la escasez de otros nutrientes distintos al nitrógeno (N), fósforo (P) o silicio (Si).

Item Type: Article
Title: Nutrient-phytoplankton interrelationships in the Eastern Tropical Pacific Ocean
Personal Creator/Author:
CreatorsEmail
Thomas, William H.
Journal or Publication Title: Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission Bulletin
Volume: 17
Number: 3
Page Range: pp. 171-212
Date: 1977
Issuing Agency: Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission
Additional Information: This article is bilingual and contains both English and Spanish translations.
Uncontrolled Keywords: nutrients; phytoplankton; Eastern Tropical Pacific Ocean; nutrientes; fitoplancton; Océano Pacifico Oriental Tropical
Subjects: Oceanography
Item ID: 3362
Depositing User: Joan Parker
Date Deposited: 13 May 2010 11:30
Last Modified: 29 Sep 2011 17:30
URI: http://aquaticcommons.org/id/eprint/3362

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