Polar Biology

, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp 27–33 | Cite as

Some ecophysiological aspects of the Antarctic phytoplankton

  • G. Jacques


Original data presented here come from two antarctic cruises and from an experimental approach on cultures of isolated diatoms from the Indian sector of the Antarctic Ocean. During the summer, the phytoplankton does not seem well adapted to its environment and the growth rate is never above 0.6 doublings per day. It is rather difficult to speak of a peculiar physiology of this plankton if we examine the production versus light responses: Ik lies between 3 and 10 W·m-2 in natural communities as well as in cultures. The original feature is due to the peculiar need of silica for diatoms to reach a maximal assimilation rate. The Ks values lie between 12 and 22 mgat·m-3 Si(OH)4, clearly above the values found in other species where seldom exceed 5. These experimental preliminary data fit well with the observed in situ desequilibrium of the assimilation rates: Si/N close to 6 and Si/P over 90, which are surprising values.


Growth Rate Phytoplankton Assimilation Original Data Preliminary Data 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Jacques
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire AragoBanyuls-sur-MerFrance

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