Flow events drive patterns of phytoplankton distribution along a river-estuary-bay continuum

Saeck, Emily A., Hadwen, Wade L., Rissik, David, O'Brien, Katherine R. and Burford, Michele A. (2013) Flow events drive patterns of phytoplankton distribution along a river-estuary-bay continuum. Marine And Freshwater Research, 64 7: 655-670. doi:10.1071/MF12227

Author Saeck, Emily A.
Hadwen, Wade L.
Rissik, David
O'Brien, Katherine R.
Burford, Michele A.
Title Flow events drive patterns of phytoplankton distribution along a river-estuary-bay continuum
Journal name Marine And Freshwater Research   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1323-1650
Publication date 2013-01
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1071/MF12227
Open Access Status
Volume 64
Issue 7
Start page 655
End page 670
Total pages 16
Place of publication Collingwood, VIC Australia
Publisher C S I R O Publishing
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Freshwater flow events drive phytoplankton productivity in subtropical coastal river systems. However, few studies have the necessary temporal and spatial resolution to fully characterise the effect of events on the distribution of phytoplankton across the full river–estuary–bay continuum. The present study characterised the response of phytoplankton to high-flow events in an Australian subtropical system; and identified the primary drivers of this response. During high-flow events, the concentration of phytoplankton chlorophyll a (Chl a) initially declined in the estuary, a response primarily driven by the shortened water-residence time. In the bay, phytoplankton growth in the near-shore zone was light limited; however, nutrients stimulated phytoplankton growth on the seaward edge of the river plume. During the post-high-flow phase, the concentration of Chl a in the freshwater reaches peaked downstream, where catchment-derived nutrients accumulated. In the estuary, elevated nutrient loads stimulated phytoplankton growth upstream and downstream of the light-limited zone. In the bay, nitrogen availability declined, and Chl a declined with an increasing distance offshore. The phytoplankton response to events documented in the present study can be used to identify when and where phytoplankton in subtropical systems may be strongly influenced by changes in the magnitude of nutrient, sediment and freshwater loads associated with high-flow events which result from anthropogenic pressures within the catchment. 
Keyword Chlorophyll A
Logan River
Moreton Bay
East Australian Estuaries
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Chemical Engineering Publications
Official 2014 Collection
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 12 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 14 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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