UV Radiation Effects on Phytoplankton Primary Production: A Comparison Between Arctic and Antarctic Marine Ecosystems

  • E. W. Helbling
  • V. E. Villafañe
Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 153)

Abstract

Polar oceans are major water bodies that sustain a considerable portion of the world’s primary production (Smith 1991; Longhurst et al. 1995). Phytoplankton net primary production is calculated to be about 1 to 9 GT C/year in the Arctic and Southern Oceans, respectively, which corresponds roughly to 20% of the world’s aquatic production (Longhurst et al. 1995; Behrenfeld and Falkowski 1997). Throughout this chapter, we will refer indistinctly to Southern Ocean or Antarctic waters to indicate waters south of the Antarctic Convergence (polar front). Solar radiation and water temperature are two of the most important abiotic factors known to affect phytoplankton primary productivity in polar waters (Sakshaug and Holm-Hansen 1984). It is expected that any stress factor that affects these autotrophic organisms will cause a significant impact in higher trophic levels of the aquatic food web (Häder et al. 1995).

Keywords

Biomass Vortex Chlorophyll Attenuation Ozone 

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  • E. W. Helbling
  • V. E. Villafañe

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