Estuaries and Coasts

, Volume 33, Issue 2, pp 541–553 | Cite as

Climatic Controls on Phytoplankton Biomass in a Sub-tropical Estuary, Florida Bay, USA

  • Henry O. Briceño
  • Joseph N. Boyer


The extraction of climatic signals from time series of biogeochemical data is further complicated in estuarine regions because of the dynamic interaction of land, ocean, and atmosphere. We explored the behavior of potential global and regional climatic stressors to isolate specific shifts or trends, which could have a forcing role on the behavior of biogeochemical descriptors of water quality and phytoplankton biomass from Florida Bay, as an example of a sub-tropical estuary. We performed statistical analysis and subdivided the bay into six zones having unique biogeochemical characteristics. Significant shifts in the drivers were identified in all the chlorophyll a time series. Chlorophyll a concentrations closely follow global forcing and display a generalized declining trend on which seasonal oscillations are superimposed, and it is only interrupted by events of sudden increase triggered by storms which are followed by a relatively rapid return to pre-event conditions trailing again the long-term trend.


Florida Bay Chlorophyll a Time series Climate signal CUSUM Hurricane impact 



This research was funded by the National Science Foundation through the Florida Coastal Everglades Long-Term Ecological Research Program (DEB-9901514). And by South Florida Water Management District (contract #4600000352). We especially thank Ed Phlips for comments on an earlier version of the manuscript. Data are available at This is contribution No. 428 of the Southeast Environmental Research Center at Florida International University.


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Further Reading

  1. Boyer, J.N. 2004. The value of a regional water quality monitoring network in restoration planning in South Florida. EMAP Symposium, May 6, 2004—Newport, RI.Google Scholar
  2. Briceño, H. and A. Callejon. 2000. Chemostratigraphic correlation of the Source Rock in the La Luna K-T(!) Petroleum System in Southwestern Venezuela. In Paleogeography and hydrocarbon potential of La Luna Formation and related Cretaceous anoxic systems, Proceedings SEPM Research Conference 2000, VenezuelaGoogle Scholar
  3. Rudnick, D., C. Madden, S. Kelly, J. Boyer, S. Blair, K. Cunniff, and C. Kelble. 2007. Disturbance and ecosystem change in Florida Bay and Southern Biscayne Bay. Providence: Estuarine Research Federation Conference.Google Scholar
  4. Steidinger, K., W. Richardson, M.B. Neely, G. McRae, S. Richards, R. Bray, T.H. Perkins, and C.R. Tomas. 2001. Florida Bay microalgal blooms. 2001 Florida Bay Science Conference, Key Largo, Florida USA.(Abstract)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Southeast Environmental Research Center, OE-148Florida International UniversityMiamiUSA

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