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Phytoplankton community structure and primary production in small intertidal estuarine-bay ecosystem (eastern English Channel, France)

TitrePhytoplankton community structure and primary production in small intertidal estuarine-bay ecosystem (eastern English Channel, France)
Type de publicationJournal Article
Year of Publication2007
AuteursJouenne, F, Lefebvre, S, Véron, B, Lagadeuc, Y
JournalMarine Biology
Volume151
Pagination805–825
Résumé

From May 2002 to October 2003, a fortnightly sampling programme was conducted in a restricted macrotidal ecosystem in the English Channel, the Baie des Veys (France). Three sets of data were obtained: (1) physico-chemical parameters, (2) phytoplankton community structure illustrated by species composition, biovolume and diversity, and (3) primary production and photosynthetic parameters via P versus E curves. The aim of this study was to investigate the temporal variations of primary production and photosynthetic parameters in this bay and to highlight the potential links with phytoplankton community structure. The highest level of daily depth-integrated primary production Pz (0.02–1.43 g C m−2 d−1) and the highest maximum photosynthetic rate P B max (0.39–8.48 mg C mg chl a −1 h−1) and maximum light utilization coefficient $\alpha$B [0.002–0.119 mg C mg chl a −1 h−1 ($μ$mol photons m−2 s−1)] were measured from July to September. Species succession was determined based on biomass data obtained from cell density and biovolume measurements. The bay was dominated by 11 diatoms throughout the year. However, a Phaeocystis globosa bloom (up to 25 mg chl a m−3, 2.5 × 106 cells l−1) was observed each year during the spring diatom bloom, but timing and intensity varied interannually. Annual variation of primary production was due to nutrient limitation, light climate and water temperature. The seasonal pattern of microalgal succession, with regular changes in composition, biovolume and diversity, influenced the physico-chemical and biological characteristics of the environment (especially nutrient stocks in the bay) and thus primary production. Consequently, investigation of phytoplankton community structure is important for developing the understanding of ecosystem functioning, as it plays a major role in the dynamics of primary production.