Short Term Variations in Primary Productivity

  • Richard E. Eppley
Part of the NATO Conference Series book series (NATOCS, volume 17)


This review briefly considers two topics in primary production. In both cases time scales appear to be short (hours to days) and both have significance for ocean chemistry and physics. The first concerns implications, for studies of mixing in the surface layer, of the fact that phytoplankton “remember” their past light history. Here time scales of minutes to hours are important. The second concerns primary production as the driving force for the sinking flux of biogenic organic particles, and significant time and space scales of variability of the production of sinking particles in the surface layer. The minimum time scale of interest here appears to be 12–24 hours.


Particulate Organic Carbon Fecal Pellet Euphotic Zone Marine Phytoplankton Sinking Particle 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Brooks, J.E., 1964, Acclimation to light intensity in two species of marine phytoplankton Dunaliella tertiolecta Butcher and Skeletonema costatum (Grey.) Cleve, M.S. Thesis, University of Southern California, Los Angeles.Google Scholar
  2. Deuser, W.G., and Ross, E.H., organic carbon to the 1980, Seasonal change in the flux of deep Sargasso Sea, Nature, Lond., 283: 364.Google Scholar
  3. Deuser, W.G., Ross, E.H., and Anderson, R.F., 1981, Seasonality in the supply of sediment to the the deep Sargasso Sea, and implications for the rapid transfer of matter to the deep ocean, Deep-Sea Res., 28: 495.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Anderson, R.F., Dugdale, R.C., and Goering, J.J., 1967, Uptake of new and regenerated forms of nitrogen in primary production, Limnol. Oceanogr., 12: 196.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Eppley, R.W., and Peterson, B.J., 1979, Particulate organic matter flux and planktonic new production in the deep ocean, Nature, Lond., 282: 677.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Eppley, R.W., Renger, E.H., and Betzer, P.R., 1983, The residence time of particulate organic carbon in the surface layer of the ocean, Deep-Sea Res., 30: 311.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Falkowski, P.G., 1980, Light-shade adaptation in marine phytoplankton, in: “Primary Production in the Sea”, P.G. Falkowski, ed., pp. 99–119, Plenum Press, New York.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Farmer, D.M., and Takahashi, M., 1982, Effects of vertical mixing on photosynthetic responses, Japan. J. Limnol., 43: 173.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Harris, G.P., 1978, Photosynthesis, productivity and growth: the physiological ecology of phytoplankton, Ergebnisse Limnologie, 10: 1.Google Scholar
  10. Harris, G.P., 1981, The measurement of photosynthesis in natural populations of phytoplankton, in: “The Physiological Ecology of Phytoplankton”, I. Morris, ed., pp. 129–187, University of California Press, Berkeley.Google Scholar
  11. Haury, L.R., Briscoe, M.G. and Orr, M.H., 1979, Tidally generated internal wave packets in Massachusetts Bay, Nature, Lond., 278: 312.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Herbland, A., and Voituriez, B., 1979, Hydrologic structure analysis for estimating the primary production in the tropical Atlantic Ocean, J. Mar. Res., 37: 87.Google Scholar
  13. Horne, E.P., Lewis, M.R., Cullen, J.J., Oakey, N.S., and Platt, T., 1982, Simultaneous measurements of algal photoadaptation and turbulence during the spring bloom, Trans. Amer. Geophys. Un., 63: 962.Google Scholar
  14. Jassby, A.D., and Platt, T., 1976, Mathematical formulation of the relationship between photosynthesis and light for phytoplankton, Limnol. Oceanogr., 21: 540.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Kiefer, D.A., 1973, Chlorophyll a fluorescence in marine centric diatoms: responses of chloroplasts to light and nutrient stress, Mar. Biol., 29: 39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Lewis, M.R., Cullen, J.J., and Platt, T., 1984, Relationship between vertical mixing and photoadaptation by phytoplankton. Similarity criteria, Mar. Ecol. Progr. Ser., 15: 141.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Marra, J., 1980, Vertical mixing and primary production, in: “Primary Productivity in the Sea”, P.G. Falkowski, ed., pp. 121–137, Plenum Press, New York.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Neale, P.J., Vincent, W.F., and Richerson, P.J., 1982, Diel variation of photosynthesis in Lake Titicaca: adaptation to an extreme irradiance environment, Trans. Amer. Geophys. Un., 63: 962.Google Scholar
  19. Perry, M.J., Talbot, M.C., and Alberte, R.S., 1981, Photoadaptation in marine phytoplankton: response of the photosynthetic unit, Mar. Biol., 62: 91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Platt, T., and Jassby, A.D., 1976, The relationship between photosynthesis and light for natural assemblages of coastal marine phytoplankton, J. Phycol., 12: 421.Google Scholar
  21. Platt, T., Gallegos, C.L., and Harrison, W.G., 1980, Photoinhibition of photosynthesis in natural assemblages of marine phytoplankton, J. Mar. Res., 38: 687.Google Scholar
  22. Prezelin, B.B., 1981, Light reactions in photosynthesis, Can. Bull. Fish. Aquatic Sci., 210: 1.Google Scholar
  23. Prezelin, B.B., and Matlick, H.A., 1980, Time-course of photoadaptation in the photosynthesis-irradiance relationship of a dinoflagellate exhibiting photosynthetic periodicity, Mar. Biol., 58: 85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Steele, J.H., 1962, Environmental control of photosynthesis in the sea, Limnol. Oceanogr., 7: 137.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Steemann Nielsen, E., 1975, “Marine Photosynthesis”, Elsevier, Amsterdam.Google Scholar
  26. Steemann Nielsen, E., and Hansen, V.K., 1959, Light adaptation in marine phytoplankton populations and its interrelation with temperature, Physiol. Plant., 12: 353.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Steemann Nielsen, E., and Park, S.T., 1964, On the time course in adapting to low light intensities in marine phytoplankton, J. Cons. Int. Perm. Explor. Mer., 29: 19.Google Scholar
  28. Steemann Nielsen, E., Hansen, V.K., and Jorgensen, E.G., 1962, The adaptation to different light intensities in Chlorella vulgaris and the time dependence on transfer to a new light intensity, Physiol. Plant., 15: 505.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Suess, E., 1980, Particulate organic carbon flux in the oceans-surface productivity and oxygen utilization, Nature, Lond., 288: 260.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Talling, J., 1957, The phytoplankton population as a compound photo¬synthetic system, New Phytol., 56: 133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Welschmeyer, N.A., Copping, A.E., Vernet, M., and Lorenzen, C.J., 1984, Diel fluctuation in grazing rate of zooplankton as determined from sinking of phaeopigments in feces, Mar. Biol., 83: 263CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Williams, A.J., 1975, Images of ocean microstructure, Deep-Sea Res., 22: 811.Google Scholar
  33. Woods, J.D., and Fosberry, G.G., 1966–67, The structure of the thereto-cline, Rep. Underwater Assoc., Lond., pp. 5–18.Google Scholar
  34. Yentsch, C.S., and Lee, R.W., 1966, A study of photosynthetic light reactions and a new interpretation of sun and shade phytoplankton, J. Mar. Res., 24: 319.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard E. Eppley
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Marine Resources, A-018 Scripps Institution of OceanographyUniversity of California, San DiegoLa JollaUSA

Personalised recommendations