Net-phytoplankton communities in the Western Boundary Currents and their environmental correlations
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This study investigated net-phytoplankton biomass, species composition, the phytoplankton abundance horizontal distribution, and the correlations between net-phytoplankton communities and mesoscale structure that were derived from the net samples taken from the Western Boundary Currents during summer, 2014. A total of 199 phytoplankton species belonging to 61 genera in four phyla were identified. The dominant species included Climacodium frauenfeldianum, Thalassiothrix longissima, Rhizosolenia styliformis var. styliformis, Pyrocystis noctiluca, Ceratium trichoceros, and Trichodesmium thiebautii. Four phytoplankton communities were divided by cluster analysis and the clusters were mainly associated with the North Equatorial Counter Current (NECC), the North Equatorial Current (NEC), the Subtropical Counter Current (STCC), and the Luzon Current (LC), respectively. The lowest phytoplankton cell abundance and the highest Trichodesmium filament abundance were recorded in the STCC region. The principal component analysis showed that T. thiebautii preferred warm and nutrient poor water. There was also an increase in phytoplankton abundance and biomass near 5°N in the NECC region, where they benefit from upwellings and eddies.
Keywordnet-phytoplankton communities Western Boundary Currents upwelling eddies fronts
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We are grateful to YU Fei for the temperature and salinity data, ZHANG Wenjing for assisting with the chlorophyll concentration analyses and YUAN Yongquan for the nutrients data. We thank the captain and crew of R/V KeXue for their technical and logistical support.
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