State-of-the-Art in the Measurement of Primary Production

  • Winfried W. Gieskes
  • Gijsbert W. Kraay
Part of the NATO Conference Series book series (NATOCS, volume 13)


In this paper on the state-of-the-art in the methodology of measuring primary production we will focus on primary production by phytoplankton, not only because we do not want to present a comprehensive review of methods for measuring production in the aquatic environment, but also because on a global scale the production by phytoplankton is by far the most important in lakes, seas and oceans (de Vooys, 1979). In shallow areas, of course, benthic production by unicellular and macro-algae is predominant, but such areas comprise only a small part of the world’s marine regions. Primary production in the deep sea by chemosynthetic bacteria is another example of a productivity that is of no more than local importance. At the end of this chapter readers may be left with the conclusion that one can hardly speak of an “art” when the methods for the measurement of primary aquatic productivity are discussed. This at least is our conclusion after having been in this field of research for nearly 10 years. However, the concluding remarks will be more optimistic, namely that even methods that have long been in common use may not be so bad after all, provided they are done in the proper way.


Particulate Organic Carbon Dissolve Organic Matter Marine Phytoplankton Dark Bottle Deep Chlorophyll Maximum 
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.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Winfried W. Gieskes
    • 1
  • Gijsbert W. Kraay
    • 1
  1. 1.Netherlands Institute for Sea ResearchTexelThe Netherlands

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