Marine Biology

, Volume 91, Issue 2, pp 193–203 | Cite as

Contribution ofSynechococcus spp. to size-fractioned primary productivity in three water masses in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean

  • H. E. Glover
  • L. Campbell
  • B. B. Prézelin


The distribution of phycoerythrin-richSynechococcus spp. relative to eukaryotic algae and the contribution ofSynechococcus spp. toin situ primary production were compared at a neritic front, in warm-core eddy 84-E, and at Wilkinson's Basin, during a cruise to the Northwest Atlantic Ocean in July/August 1984. Immunofluorescence analyses ofSynechococcus strains demonstrated the restricted distribution of the tropical oceanic serogroup to the warm-core eddy, while strains of the neritic serogroup and those labelled by antiserum directed against a motile strain, were abundant in all three water masses. Although the majority ofSynechococcus spp. cells were observed in the 0.6 to 1 μm fraction, an increasing proportion of the totalSynechococcus spp. cells were found in the 1 to 5 μm fraction as nitrate concentrations increased near the base of the thermocline. From immunofluorescence analyses, we determined that the increasing proportion of largerSynechococcus spp. cells at depth was not the result of a change in strain composition, and may therefore be associated with increasing cell volume due to the enhanced nutrient supply. The contribution of the different size fractions to the total standing crop of chlorophyll and thein situ rate of photosynthesis was distincty different for the three water masses. At the neritic front, the larger photoautotrophs of the 1 to 5 μm and >5 μm fractions were the major contributors to chlorophyll concentrations and primary production.Synechococcus spp. appeared to provide only 6% of the dawn-to-duskin situ primary production at the neritic front. In modified Sargasso water in the warm-core eddy,Synechococcus spp. contributed 25% to thein situ rate of integrated primary production. In this warm-core eddy, the 0.2 to 0.6 μm fraction made a major contribution to the standing crop of chlorophyll and primary production that equalled or exceeded that of the larger sze categories. Furthermore, at the bottom of the euphotic layer, eukaryotes numerically dominated the 0.2 to 0.6 μm fraction, which contributed 61% of the primary productivity. At Wilkinson's Basin, theSynechococcus spp.-dominated 0.6 to 1.0 μm fraction made the greatest contribution to the standing crop of chlorophyll an primary production, while smaller photoautotrophs (0.2 to 0.6 μm) accounted for little of the chlorophyll or photosynthetic rates measured over the euphotic layer. Largest numbers ofSynechococcus spp. (2.9x108 cells l-1) occurred at the 18% isolume, coincident with a shoulder in the chlorophyll fluorescence profile and the site of maximumin situ primary productivity. At Wilkinson's Basin,Synechococcus spp. contributed 46% to thein situ photosynthesis integrated over the water-column.


Chlorophyll Water Masse Synechococcus Standing Crop Immunofluorescence Analysis 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. E. Glover
    • 1
  • L. Campbell
    • 2
  • B. B. Prézelin
    • 3
  1. 1.Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean SciencesWest Boothbay HarborUSA
  2. 2.Marine Sciences Research CenterState University of New YorkStony Brook, Long IslandUSA
  3. 3.Oceanic Biology Group, Marine Science Institute and Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of California at Santa BarbaraSanta BarbaraUSA

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