Advertisement

Estuaries and Coasts

, Volume 35, Issue 6, pp 1361–1375 | Cite as

Detection and Classification of Phytoplankton Deposits Along an Estuarine Gradient

  • Kara R. RadabaughEmail author
  • Ernst B. Peebles
Article

Abstract

Phytoplankton deposition onto sediments affects trophic structures, sedimentary nutrient fluxes, and dissolved oxygen concentrations in coastal ecosystems. Deposition can occur as distinct events that are highly variable over space and time, necessitating detection methods that have similarly high resolution. We present an assessment of a novel rapid detection method that combines water-column and benthic fluorometry with surficial sediment sampling to identify phytoplankton deposition, as implemented in a 2-year study of a Florida estuary (24 monthly collections at 14 locations). Maximum water-column chlorophyll concentration, average benthic chlorophyll fluorescence, and the proportion of centric vs. pennate diatoms at the sediment–water interface were each fitted to sine functions to represent phytoplankton bloom cycles. The phase offsets among the three fitted sine functions were varied to maximize fit to the 336 observations. The fitted cycles were divided into four classes that separate dominance by benthic microalgae from early, late, and post-phytoplankton depositional states. Best-fitting cycles for the proportion of centric diatoms were consistently offset from water-column chlorophyll cycles, indicating peak deposition occurred after peak phytoplankton blooms. Phytoplankton deposition dominated the upstream region of the studied estuary and was associated with reduced dissolved oxygen concentrations. Benthic algae dominated in downstream regions, particularly during low freshwater flow conditions when light absorption by colored dissolved organic matter was low. This approach produced repeatable and consistent patterns that agreed with expected relationships and was practical for sampling with high spatial and temporal resolution.

Keywords

Phytoplankton sedimentation Bentho-pelagic coupling Phytodetritus deposition PAM fluorometry Caloosahatchee River estuary Basal resource 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank Dr. Gregory Ellis, Dr. Scott Burghart, Ralph Kitzmiller, and Dr. Elon Malkin of the University of South Florida (USF) for their help in data collection and logistics. We thank Dr. Chuanmin Hu and David English of USF for assistance with the calculation of light attenuation. Data were gathered in collaboration with Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) scientists Drs. Gregory Tolley, David Fugate, and Michael Parsons. We thank Megan Andresen and Brooke Denkert along with many other FGCU students for their work in the field efforts. We also thank Dr. Peter Doering of the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) and anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments. Funding for this project was provided by SFWMD grants 4500020141 and 4500035194. This work was performed to partially fulfill the requirements of the first author’s doctoral degree.

Supplementary material

12237_2012_9532_Fig8_ESM.jpg (97 kb)
ESM 1

Chlorophyll RFU (relative fluorescence units from the YSI 6025 chlorophyll fluorometer) as plotted against the chlorophyll concentration derived from filtration and extraction of water samples (a). Wide scatter of chlorophyll RFU in regions of low chlorophyll concentration is due to interference with CDOM. Calibrated chlorophyll concentrations (b) were calculated from Eq. 1 as functions of RFU and CDOM. Unique calibration equations were used for each of the 24 months of the study (JPEG 96 kb)

12237_2012_9532_MOESM1_ESM.eps (474 kb)
High resolution image (EPS 473 kb)

References

  1. Andreson, M.M. 2011. Factors influencing spatial and temporal variation in phytoplankton productivity within the Caloosahatchee estuary, southwest Florida. Masters Thesis, Florida Gulf Coast University. Google Scholar
  2. Badylak, S., and E.J. Phlips. 2004. Spatial and temporal patterns of phytoplankton composition in subtropical coastal lagoon, the Indian River Lagoon, Florida, USA. Journal of Plankton Research 26: 1229–1247.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Barker, P., J.C. Fontes, F. Gasse, and J.C. Druart. 1994. Experimental dissolution of diatom silica in concentrated salt-solutions and implications for paleoenvironmental reconstruction. Limnology and Oceanography 39: 99–110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bricaud, A., M. Babin, A. Morel, and H. Claustre. 1995. Variability in the chlorophyll-specific absorption coefficients of natural phytoplankton: analysis and parameterization. Journal of Geophysical Research 100: 13321–13332.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Carder, K.L., F.R. Chen, Z.P. Lee, S.K. Hawes, and D. Kamykowski. 1999. Semianalytic moderate-resolution imaging spectrometer algorithms for chlorophyll a and absorption with bio-optical domains based on nitrate-depletion temperatures. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans 104: 5403–5421.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Consalvey, M., R.G. Perkins, D.M. Paterson, and G.J.C. Underwood. 2005. PAM fluorescence: a beginner’s guide for benthic diatomists. Diatom Research 20: 1–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cooper, S.R. 1995. Chesapeake Bay watershed historical land use impact on water quality and diatom communities. Ecological Applications 5: 703–723.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Deegan, L.A., and R.H. Garritt. 1997. Evidence for spatial variability in estuarine food webs. Marine Ecology Progress Series 147: 31–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Doering, P.H., and R.H. Chamberlain. 1999. Water quality and source of freshwater discharge to the Caloosahatchee Estuary, Florida. Journal of the American Water Resources Association 35: 793–806.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Doering, P.H., R.H. Chamberlain, and K.M. Haunert. 2006. Chlorophyll a and its use as an indicator of eutrophication in the Caloosahatchee Estuary, Florida. Florida Scientist 69: 51–72.Google Scholar
  11. Dunning, J.B., B.J. Danielson, and H.R. Pulliam. 1992. Ecological processes that affect populations in complex landscapes. Oikos 65: 169–175.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Edgar, G.J., and C. Shaw. 1995. The production and trophic ecology of shallow-water fish assemblages in southern Australia 2. Diets of fishes and trophic relationships between fishes and benthos at Western Port, Victoria. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 194: 83–106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Figueroa, F.L., F.X. Niell, F.G. Figueiras, and M.L. Villarino. 1998. Diel migration of phytoplankton and spectral light field in the Ría de Vigo (NW Spain). Marine Biology 130: 491–499.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Gehlen, M., L. Bopp, N. Ernprin, O. Aumont, C. Heinze, and O. Raguencau. 2006. Reconciling surface ocean productivity, export fluxes and sediment composition in a global biogeochemical ocean model. Biogeosciences 3: 521–537.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Grippo, M.A., J.W. Fleeger, N.N. Rabalais, R. Condrey, and K.R. Carman. 2010. Contribution of phytoplankton and benthic microalgae to inner shelf sediments of the north-central Gulf of Mexico. Continental Shelf Research 30: 456–466.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Haines, E.B., and C.L. Montague. 1979. Food sources of estuarine invertebrates analyzed using 13C/12C ratios. Ecology 60: 48–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hansen, L.S., and T.H. Blackburn. 1992. Effect of algal bloom deposition on sediment respiration and fluxes. Marine Biology 112: 147–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Honeywill, C., D.N. Paterson, and S.E. Hagerthey. 2002. Determination of microphytobenthic biomass using pulse-amplitude modulated minimum fluorescence. European Journal of Phycology 37: 485–492.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Huang, T.C., and H.G. Goodell. 1967. Sediments of Charlotte Harbor, southwestern Florida. Journal of Sedimentary Petrology 37: 449–474.Google Scholar
  20. IOCCG. 2006. Remote sensing of inherent optical properties: fundamentals, tests of algorithms, and applications. In: Reports of the International Ocean-Colour Coordinating Group, No. 5, ed. ZhongPing Lee. IOCCG, Dartmouth, Canada.Google Scholar
  21. Jesus, B., R.G. Perkins, C.R. Mendes, V. Brotas, and D.M. Paterson. 2006. Chlorophyll fluorescence as a proxy for microphytobenthic biomass: alternatives to the current methodology. Marine Biology 150: 17–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Kirk, J.T.O. 1994. Light and photosynthesis in aquatic ecosystems. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kohler, J., M. Bahnwart, and K. Ockenfeld. 2002. Growth and loss processes of riverine phytoplankton in relation to water depth. International Review of Hydrobiology 87: 241–254.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Kromkamp, J., C. Barranguet, and J. Peene. 1998. Determination of microphytobenthos PSII quantum efficiency and photosynthetic activity by means of variable chlorophyll fluorescence. Marine Ecology Progress Series 162: 45–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Lawson, D.S., D.C. Hurd, and H.S. Pankratz. 1978. Silica dissolution rates of decomposing phytoplankton assemblages at various temperatures. American Journal of Science 278: 1373–1393.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Lee, Z.P., K.P. Du, and R. Arnone. 2005. A model for the diffuse attenuation coefficient of downwelling irradiance. Journal of Geophysical Research 110: C02016.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Lewin, J.C. 1961. The dissolution of silica from diatom walls. Geochimica Et Cosmochimica Acta 21: 182–198.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Lucas, C.H., C. Banham, and P.M. Holligan. 2001. Benthic-pelagic exchange of microalgae at a tidal flat. 2. Taxonomic analysis. Marine Ecology Progress Series 212: 39–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Lund-Hansen, L.C. 2011. Subsurface chlorophyll maximum (SCM) location and extension in the water column as governed by a density interface in the strongly stratified Kattegat estuary. Hydrobiologia 673: 105–118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Marsh, A.G., and K.R. Tenore. 1990. The role of nutrition in regulating the population-dynamics of opportunistic, surface deposit feeders in a mesohaline community. Limnology and Oceanography 35: 710–724.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. McIvor, C.C., and W.E. Odum. 1988. Food, predation risk, and microhabitat selection in a marsh fish assemblage. Ecology 69: 1341–1351.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. McPherson, B.F., R.T. Montgomery, and E.E. Emmons. 1990. Phytoplankton productivity and biomass in the Charlotte Harbor Estuary system, Florida. Water Resources Bulletin 26: 787–800.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Odum, E.P. 1969. The strategy of ecosystem development. Science 164: 262–270.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Paerl, H.W., J.L. Pinckney, J.M. Fear, and B.L. Peierls. 1998. Ecosystem responses to internal and watershed organic matter loading: consequences for hypoxia in the eutrophying Neuse river estuary, North Carolina, USA. Marine Ecology Progress Series 166: 17–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Parsons, T.R., Y. Maita, and C.M. Lalli. 1984. A manual of chemical and biological methods for seawater analysis. Oxford: Pergamon Press.Google Scholar
  36. Peebles, E.B., S.E. Burghart, and D.J. Hollander. 2007. Causes of interestuarine variability in bay anchovy (Anchoa mitchilli) salinity at capture. Estuaries and Coasts 30: 1060–1074.Google Scholar
  37. Proctor, C.W., and C.S. Roesler. 2010. New insights on obtaining phytoplankton concentration and composition from in situ multispectral chlorophyll fluorescence. Limnology and Oceanography: Methods 8: 695–708.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Quijón, P.A., M.C. Kelly, and P.V.R. Snelgrove. 2008. The role of sinking phytodetritus in structuring shallow-water benthic communities. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 366: 134–145.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Rabalais, N.N., R.E. Turner, Q. Dortch, D. Justic, V.J. Bierman, and W.J. Wiseman. 2002. Nutrient-enhanced productivity in the northern Gulf of Mexico: past, present and future. Hydrobiologia 475: 39–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Rooney, N., K. McCann, G. Gellner, and J.C. Moore. 2006. Structural asymmetry and the stability of diverse food webs. Nature 442: 265–269.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Rubin, D.M., H. Chezar, J.N. Harney, D.J. Topping, T.S. Melis, and C.R. Sherwood. 2007. Underwater microscope for measuring spatial and temporal changes in bed-sediment grain size. Sedimentary Geology 202: 402–408.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Sand-Jensen, K., and J. Borum. 1991. Interactions among phytoplankton, periphyton, and macrophytes in temperate freshwaters and estuaries. Aquatic Botany 41: 137–175.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Serôdio, J., J.M. da Silva, and F. Catarino. 1997. Nondestructive tracing of migratory rhythms of intertidal benthic microalgae using in vivo chlorophyll a fluorescence. Journal of Phycology 33: 542–553.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Serôdio, J., J.M. da Silva, and F. Catarino. 2001. Use of in vivo chlorophyll a fluorescence to quantify short-term variations in the productive biomass of intertidal microphytobenthos. Marine Ecology Progress Series 218: 45–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Smetacek, V., K.V. Brockel, B. Zeitzschel, and W. Zenk. 1978. Sedimentation of particulate matter during a phytoplankton spring bloom in relation to the hydrographical regime. Marine Biology 47: 211–226.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Smith, C.R., D.J. Hoover, S.E. Doan, R.H. Pope, D.J. Demaster, F.C. Dobbs, and M.A. Altabet. 1996. Phytodetritus at the abyssal seafloor across 10 degrees of latitude in the central equatorial Pacific. Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography 43: 1309–1338.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Snow, G.C., and J.B. Adams. 2007. Relating microalgal spatial patterns to flow, mouth and nutrient status in the temporarily open/closed Mngazi estuary, South Africa. Marine and Freshwater Research 58: 1032–1043.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Tolley, S.G., D. Fugate, M.L. Parsons, S.E. Burghart, and E.B. Peebles. 2010. The responses of turbidity, CDOM, benthic microalgae, phytoplankton and zooplankton to variation in seasonal freshwater inflow to the Caloosahatchee Estuary. Final Data Analysis and Interpretation Report to South Florida Water Management District. September 1, 2010.Google Scholar
  49. Trigueros, J.M., and E. Orive. 2000. Tidally driven distribution of phytoplankton blooms in a shallow, macrotidal estuary. Journal of Plankton Research 22: 969–986.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Tuchman, N.C., M.A. Schollett, S.T. Rier, and P. Geddes. 2006. Differential heterotrophic utilization of organic compounds by diatoms and bacteria under light and dark conditions. Hydrobiologia 561: 167–177.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Turner, R.E., N.N. Rabalais, B. Fry, N. Atilla, C.S. Milan, J.M. Lee, C. Normandeau, T.A. Oswald, E.M. Swenson, and D.A. Tomasko. 2006. Paleo-indicators and water quality change in the Charlotte Harbor estuary (Florida). Limnology and Oceanography 51: 518–533.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Vadeboncoeur, Y., E. Jeppesen, M.J. Vander Zanden, H.H. Schierup, K. Christoffersen, and D.M. Lodge. 2003. From Greenland to green lakes: cultural eutrophication and the loss of benthic pathways in lakes. Limnology and Oceanography 48: 1408–1418.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. van der Molen, J.S., and R. Perissinotto. 2011. Microalgal productivity in an estuarine lake during a drought cycle: the St. Lucia Estuary, South Africa. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 92: 1–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Vander Zanden, M.J., and Y. Vadeboncoeur. 2002. Fishes as integrators of benthic and pelagic food webs in lakes. Ecology 83: 2152–2161.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Wehr, J.D., and R.G. Sheath. 2003. Freshwater habitats of algae. In Freshwater algae of North America: ecology and classification, ed. J.D. Wehr and R.G. Sheath, 11–57. San Diego: Academic Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Znachor, P., and J. Nedoma. 2010. Importance of dissolved organic carbon for phytoplankton nutrition in a eutrophic reservoir. Journal of Plankton Research 32: 367–376.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of South Florida College of Marine ScienceSt. PetersburgUSA

Personalised recommendations