Vertical Distribution of Diverse Phytoplankton Communities in the Central Pacific

  • Greta A. Fryxell
  • Satoru Taguchi
  • Sayed Z. El-Sayed
Part of the Marine Science book series (MR, volume 9)


Southeast of Hawaii in the central Pacific, phytoplankton samples were taken on three transects. An average of over 20,500 cells/liter, including flagellates, was found for all depths counted, with diatoms, dinoflagellates, and coccolithophorids together accounting (in about equal numbers) for half that number. Coccolithophorids were dominant at some depths. The profile of cell numbers with depth showed a subsurface maximum with decreasing numbers at greater depths. The empty cell counts followed the same profile, with counts that were almost an order of magnitude smaller, probably indicating much recycling within the euphotic zone. Diversity indices revealed the complexity of the phytoplankton communities on these transects, and the Shannon Weaver index (H′) summed over all depths for each station appeared to approach an asymptote in most cases. Transect C (northeast of the other sites) showed a deeper mixed layer and greater diversity.


Water Column Pacific Ocean Euphotic Zone Empty Cell Manganese Nodule 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Greta A. Fryxell
    • 1
  • Satoru Taguchi
    • 2
  • Sayed Z. El-Sayed
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of OceanographyTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA
  2. 2.Hawaii Institute of Marine BiologyUniversity of Hawaii at ManoaCoconut Island, KaneoheUSA

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