Eolian Dust Affects Phytoplankton in the Waters off Kuwait, the Arabian Gulf
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Summer phytoplankton assemblages from surface waters off Kuwait were enriched with levels of eolian dust (105, 106, and 107 mg/m3), similar to seasonal dust fallout for this region. Algal growth was positive and dose dependent. Highest biomass was up to 527 μg chlorophyll a/l on day 5. The maximum doublings of biomass per day were 0.64, 0.77, and 1.42, corresponding to 105, 106, and 107 mg/m3 enrichment and were significantly higher than the 0.56 for control. Changes in the phytoplankton species composition occurred with changes in biomass, with small algae dominating peak populations. It is suggested that through enrichment of trace elements via eolian dust, a high level of phytoplankton biomass and growth can be sustained in this arid environment.
KeywordsBiomass Dust Chlorophyll Phytoplankton Phytoplankton Biomass
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