, Volume 102, Issue 3, pp 329-339

Size composition of particulate organic matter in the lagoon of Tikehau atoll (Tuamotu archipelago)

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Suspended particulate matter was comprehensively investigated from 6 to 17 April 1986 in the lagoon of Tikehau atoll (15°00′S; 148°10′W). Dry weight (DW), particulate organic carbon (POC), adenosine triphosphate (ATP), and chlorophyll a were measured for five size-classes (0.2 to 0.8 μm, 0.8 to 3 μm, 3 to 35 μm, 35 to 200 μm, and 200 to 2000 μm). Taxa were identified and counted for the whole plankton (both autotrophic and heterotrophic). Particles <3 μm accounted for 81% of the total POC (192 mg m-3), and detritus comprised 82% of the total POM. Phytoplankton (cyanobacteria plus algae) accounted for 35% of the living carbon, 75% of which consisted of heterotrophic bacteria and cyanobacteria. The zooplankton biomass was composed of 31% nano-, 26% micro-, and 43% mesoplankton.

Communicated by J. M. Pérès, Marseille