Marine Biology

, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 7–16 | Cite as

Significance of nanoplankton in the Chesapeake Bay estuary and problems associated with the measurement of nanoplankton productivity

  • J. J. McCarthy
  • W. Rowland Taylor
  • M. E. Loftus


Over a 2-year program of monthly cruises covering the entire Chesapeake Bay (USA), the phytoplankters which passed 35 μm mesh were responsible for 89.6% of the phytoplankton productivity. On a single summer cruise, the <35 μm phytoplankton fraction was responsible for 93.4% of the chlorophyll a and 100% of the primary productivity. The <10 μm fraction was responsible for 81.3% of the chlorophyll a and 94% of the productivity. The difference in biomass in the <35 μm and the <10 μm fractions was significant (P=0.025), but no significant difference in the productivity could be demonstrated. Laboratory experiments demonstrated that recently assimilated carbon can be lost with gravity screening. Considering both this and the effect of herbivorous zooplankters enclosed in productivity incubations, a prescreening rather than postscreening technique is recommended for studying nanoplankton productivity.


Biomass Chlorophyll Phytoplankton Laboratory Experiment Phytoplankton Productivity 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. J. McCarthy
    • 1
  • W. Rowland Taylor
    • 1
  • M. E. Loftus
    • 2
  1. 1.Chesapeake Bay InstituteThe Johns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Department of BiologyThe Johns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA

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