Seasonal variation in phytoplankton in the southern Benguela: pigment indices and ocean colour

Barlow, R., Sessions, H., Balarin, M., Weeks, S., Whittle, C. and Hutchings, L. (2005) Seasonal variation in phytoplankton in the southern Benguela: pigment indices and ocean colour. African Journal of Marine Science, 27 1: 275-287. doi:10.2989/18142320509504086

Author Barlow, R.
Sessions, H.
Balarin, M.
Weeks, S.
Whittle, C.
Hutchings, L.
Title Seasonal variation in phytoplankton in the southern Benguela: pigment indices and ocean colour
Journal name African Journal of Marine Science   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1814-232X
Publication date 2005
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.2989/18142320509504086
Volume 27
Issue 1
Start page 275
End page 287
Total pages 13
Place of publication Grahamstown, South Africa
Publisher National Inquiry Services Centre
Language eng
Subject 06 Biological Sciences
Formatted abstract
Pigment indices and satellite imagery were used to investigate the seasonal variation in phytoplankton in the southern Benguela, with the aid of monthly monitoring on two transect lines. Sea surface temperature images revealed the similarity in thermal conditions during autumn, winter and spring, with a broad zone of 11-14°C water extending northwards from Cape Columbine and a narrow zone extending south along the coast to the Cape Peninsula. In summer, warm water (18-20°C) intruded from the South Coast into the West Coast offshore region and cold water (10-12°C) prevailed inshore at particular upwelling centres. The phytoplankton response to these thermal conditions resulted in elevated chlorophyll a (2-15mg m-3) in the 11-14°C waters during all four seasons. The zones of elevated chlorophyll were generally broader from Cape Columbine northwards and narrower south of Cape Columbine to the Cape Peninsula. Pigment indices indicated that phytoplankton biomass was high in summer, but also quite extensive in the autumn and spring, with diatoms generally dominating inshore and small flagellates offshore. Diagnostic indices indicated that flagellates were prominent at inshore localities during all seasons, however, suggesting that this group contributed significantly to phytoplankton communities on the shelf.
Copyright © NISC Pty Ltd.
Keyword Marine & Freshwater Biology
Pigment indices
Satellite imagery
Seasonal variability
Upwelling System
Q-Index Code C1

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
Centre for Marine Studies Publications
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Created: Wed, 19 Sep 2007, 17:03:16 EST