Journal of Oceanography

, Volume 54, Issue 5, pp 517–526 | Cite as

Chlorophyll-specific absorption coefficients and pigments of phytoplankton off Sanriku, northwestern North Pacific

  • Koji Suzuki
  • Motoaki Kishino
  • Kousei Sasaoka
  • Sei-Ichi Saitoh
  • Toshiro Saino


The variety in shape and magnitude of thein vivo chlorophyll-specific absorption spectra of phytoplankton was investigated in relation to differences in pigment composition off Sanriku, northwestern North Pacific. Site-to-site variations of the absorption coefficients,a ph * (λ), and pigment composition were clearly observed. At warm-streamer stations, higher values ofa ph * (440) anda ph * (650) were found with relatively high concentrations of chlorophyllb (a green algae marker). At stations located in the Oyashio water (cold streamer),a ph * (440) values were lower and fucoxanthin (a diatom marker) concentrations were higher, compared to the other stations. The peak in the absorption spectra at the Oyashio stations was shifted toward shorter wavelengths, which was probably due to the presence of phaeopigments. In a Kuroshio warm-core ring, the magnitude ofa ph * (440) was in between those at the warm-streamer and Oyashio stations, and the diagnostic pigment was peridinin (a dinoflagellate marker). These findings indicated that major differences in phytoplankton absorption spectra of each water mass were a result of differences in the phytoplankton pigment composition of each water mass, which was probably related to the phytoplankton community.


Phytoplankton absorption phytoplankton pigments off Sanriku North Pacific 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Allali, K., A. Bricaud and H. Claustre (1997): Spatial variation in the chlorophyll-specific absorption coefficients of phytoplankton and photosynthetically active pigments in the equatorial Pacific.J. Geophys. Res. 102, 12413–12423.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Andersen, R. A., G. W. Sauders, M. P. Paskind and J. P. Sexton (1993): Ultrastructure and 18S rRNA gene sequence forPelagomonas calceolata gen et sp. nov. and the description of a new algal class, the Pelagophyceae classis nov.J. Phycol.,29, 701–715.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Babin, M., A. Morel, H. Claustre, A. Bricaud, Z. Kolber and P. G. Falkowski (1996): Nitrogen- and irradiance-dependent variations of the maximum quantum yield of carbon fixation in eutrophic, mesotrophic and oligotropic marine systems.Deep-Sea Res. I,43, 1241–1272.Google Scholar
  4. Bannister, T. T. (1974): Production equations in terms of chlorophyll concentration, quantum yield, and upper limit to production.Limnol. Oceanogr.,19, 1–12.Google Scholar
  5. Berthon, J.-F. and A. Morel (1992): Validation of a spectral light-photosynthesis model and use of the model in conjunction with remotely sensed pigment observation.Limnol. Oceanogr.,37, 781–796.Google Scholar
  6. Bidigare, R. R., M. E. Ondrusek, J. H. Morrow and D. A. Kiefer (1990):In vivo absorption properties of algal pigments.Ocean Optics, X, Proc. SPIE Int. Soc. Opt. Eng.,1302, 290–302.Google Scholar
  7. Bricaud, A. and D. Stramski (1990): Spectral absorption coefficients of living phytoplankton and nonalgal biogenous matter: A comparison between the Peru upwelling and the Sargasso Sea.Limnol. Oceanogr.,35, 562–582.Google Scholar
  8. Bricaud, A., A. Morel and L. Prieur (1983): Optical efficiency factors of some phytoplankters.Limnol. Oceanogr.,28, 816–832.Google Scholar
  9. Bricaud, A., M. Babin, A. Morel and H. Claustre (1995): Variability in the chlorophyll-specific absorption coefficients of natural phytoplankton: Analysis and parameterization.J. Geophys. Res.,100(C7), 13321–13332.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cleveland, J. S. and A. D. Weidemann (1993): Quantifying absorption by aquatic particles: A multiple scattering correction for glass-fiber filters.Limnol. Oceanogr.,38, 1321–1327.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Foss, P., R. R. L. Guillard and S. Liaaen-Jensen (1984): Prasinoxanthin—A chemosystematic marker for algae.Phytochem,23, 1629–1633.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Head, E. J. H. and Harris, L. R. (1992): Chlorophyll and carotenoid transformation and destruction byCalanus spp. grazing on diatoms.Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser.,86, 229–238.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hoepffner, N. and S. Sathyendranath (1991): Effect of pigment composition on absorption properties of phytoplankton.Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser.,73, 11–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hoepffner, N. and S. Sathyendranath (1992): Bio-optical characteristics of coastal waters: Absorption spectra of phytoplankton and pigment distribution in the western North Atlantic.Limnol. Oceanogr.,37, 1660–1679.Google Scholar
  15. Inagake, D. and S. Saitoh (1998): Description of the oceanographic conditions and its relation to spring-bloom detected by OCTS images around the Kuroshio/Oyashio mixed water region.J. Oceanogr.,54, this volume, 479–494.Google Scholar
  16. Ishizaka, J. (1998): Spatial distribution of primary production during spring estimated by Ocean Color and Temperature Scanner (OCTS).J. Oceanogr.,54, this volume, 553–564.Google Scholar
  17. Ishizaka, J., H. Kiyosawa, K. Ishida, K. Ishikawa and M. Takahashi (1994): Meridional distribution and carbon biomass of autotrophic picoplankton in the Central North Pacific Ocean during late northern summer 1990.Deep-Sea Res.,41, 1745–1766.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Jeffrey, S. W. (1974): Profiles of photosynthetic pigments in the ocean using thin-layer chromatography.Mar. Biol.,26, 101–110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Johansen, J. E., W. A. Svec, S. Liaaen-Jensen and F. T. Haxo (1974): Carotenoids of the dinophyceae.Phytochem.,13, 2261–2271.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kiefer, D. A. and B. G. Mitchell (1983): A simple, steady state description of phytoplankton growth based on absorption cross section and quantum efficiency.Limnol. Oceanogr.,28, 770–776.Google Scholar
  21. Kirk, J. T. O. (1994):Light and Photosynthesis in Aquatic Ecosystems. 2nd ed., Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 509 pp.Google Scholar
  22. Kishino, M., M. Takahashi, N. Okami and S. Ichimura (1985): Estimation of the spectral absorption coefficients of phytoplankton in the sea.Bull. Mar. Sci.,37, 634–642.Google Scholar
  23. Laws, E. (1997):Mathematical Methods for Oceanographers: An Introduction. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, 343 pp.Google Scholar
  24. Lazzara, L., A. Bricaud and H. Claustre (1996): Spectral absorption and fluorescence excitation properties of phytoplanktonic populations at a mesotrophic and an oligotrophic site in the tropical North Atlantic (EUMELI program).Deep-Sea Res. I,43, 1215–12540.Google Scholar
  25. Lutz, V. A., S. Sathyendranath and E. J. H. Head (1996): Absorption coefficient of phytoplankton: regional variations in the North Atlantic.Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser.,135, 197–213.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Morel, A. and J. M. André (1991): Pigment distribution and primary production in the western Mediterranean as derived and modeled from coastal zone color scanner observations.J. Geophys. Res.,96(C7), 12685–12698.Google Scholar
  27. Morel, A. and A. Bricaud (1981): Theoretical results concerning light absorption in a discrete medium, and application to specific absorption of phytoplankton.Deep-Sea Res.,28, 1375–1393.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Morel, A., Y.-H. Ahn, F. Partensky, D. Vaulot and H. Claustre (1993):Prochlorococcus andSynechococcus: A comparative study of their optical properties in relation to their size and pigmentation.J. Mar. Res.,51, 617–649.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Odate, T. and Y. Maita (1988/1989): Regional variation in the size composition of phytoplankton communities in the western North Pacific Ocean, spring 1985.Biol. Oceanogr.,6, 65–77.Google Scholar
  30. Pennington, F. C., F. T. Haxo, G. Borch and S. Liaaen-Jensen (1985): Carotenoids of cryptophyceae.Biochem. System. Ecol.,13, 215–219.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Roberts, D. W. A. and H. J. Perkins (1962): Chlorophyll biosynthesis and turnover in wheat leaves.Biochim. Biophys. Acta,58, 499–506.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Saino, T. and H. Gomes (1997):Preliminary data report of the cruise KT-97-05 for the ADEOS Field Campaign. Institute for Hydrospheric-Atmospheric Sciences, Nagoya University, Nagoya, 35 pp.Google Scholar
  33. Saitoh, S., D. Inagake, K. Sasaoka, J. Ishizaka, Y. Nakame and T. Saino (1998): Satellite and ship observations of Kuroshio warm-core ring 93A off Sanriku in spring 1997.J. Oceanogr.,54, this volume, 495–508.Google Scholar
  34. Sakshaung, E., A. Bricaud, Y. Dandonneau, P. G. Falkowski, D. A. Kiefer, L. Legendre, L. Legendre, A. Morel, J. Parslow and M. Takahashi (1997): Parameters of photosynthesis: definitions, theory and interpretation of results.J. Plankton Res.,19, 1637–1670.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Suzuki, K., N. Handa, T. Nishida and C. S. Wong (1997): Estimation of phytoplankton succession in a fertilized mesocosm during summer using high-performance liquid chromatographic analysis of pigments.J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol.,214, 1–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Wright, S. W. and S. W. Jeffrey (1987): Fucoxanthin pigment markers of marine phytoplankton analysed by HPLC and HPTLC.Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser.,38, 259–266.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Yentsch, C. S. and D. A. Phinney (1989): A bridge between ocean optics and microbial ecology.Limnol. Oceanogr.,34, 1694–1705.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Oceanographic Society of Japan 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Koji Suzuki
    • 1
  • Motoaki Kishino
    • 2
  • Kousei Sasaoka
    • 3
  • Sei-Ichi Saitoh
    • 3
  • Toshiro Saino
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Hydrospheric-Atmospheric SciencesNagoya UniversityNagoyaJapan
  2. 2.The Institute of Physical and Chemical ResearchWako, SaitamaJapan
  3. 3.Faculty of FisheriesHokkaido UniversityHakodate, HokkaidoJapan

Personalised recommendations