Marine Biology

, Volume 77, Issue 1, pp 19–27 | Cite as

Production of picoplankton and small nanoplankton in the Celtic Sea

  • I. R. Joint
  • A. J. Pomroy


A significant proportion of the total primary production in the Celtic Sea (50°30′N; 07°00′W) has been found to be due to picoplankton and small nanoplankton. In July, August and October, 1982, 20 to 25% of the 14C fixed in primary production was in organisms >5 μm, 35 to 40% was in organisms <5–1 μm and 20 to 30% was in organisms<1 μm. Bacterial production was estimated by the incorporation of 3H and would account for less than 10% of the production in the <1–>0.2 μm fraction; therefore, production in the <1–>0.2 μm fraction was the result of photosynthesis per se by picoplankton and could not have been due to heterotrophic bacteria utilizing exudates from larger phytoplankton. Time-course experiments demonstrated some transfer of label from the <1–>0.2μm fraction to the >5 μm fraction, presumably by grazing, but again most of the production in this fraction was the result of photosynthesis by organisms larger than 5 μm and was not due to grazing by heterotrophic microflagellates on smaller phytoplankton.


Phytoplankton Photosynthesis Significant Proportion Heterotrophic Bacterium Bacterial Production 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • I. R. Joint
    • 1
  • A. J. Pomroy
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Marine Environmental ResearchNatural Environment Research CouncilPlymouthEngland

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