The Application of Variable Chlorophyll Fluorescence to Microphytobenthic Biofilms

  • R. G. Perkins
  • J. C. Kromkamp
  • J. Serôdio
  • J. Lavaud
  • B. Jesus
  • J. L. Mouget
  • S. Lefebvre
  • R. M. Forster
Part of the Developments in Applied Phycology book series (DAPH, volume 4)


Community assemblages of diatoms, green algae and cyanobacteria comprise the microphytobenthos (MPB), which inhabit benthic sediment ecosystems (Admiraal 1984; Underwood and Kromkamp 1999; Consalvey et al. 2004). Particular attention has been paid to the analysis of intertidal soft sediment systems, e.g. cohesive mudflat and sandy substrata typical of estuarine habitats. Variable chlorophyll fluorescence has been applied to these systems since the 1990s, in an attempt to investigate the primary productivity and photophysiology of the integrated biofilms, when viewed as a “black box system”, and also at the species level (Sections 5, 6 and 7). These transient (i.e. temporary) biofilms are not confined to such soft sediment habitats however, and more recently application of fluorescence methodologies has been applied to biofilms inhabiting rocky shores and stromatolite systems (Kromkamp et al. 2007; Perkins et al. 2007). However the large majority of published work has centred upon benthic soft-sediment biofilms, due to their important ecosystem functions of carbon flow and sediment stability (Underwood and Kromkamp 1999). In the former their high magnitude of productivity fuels carbon flow through invertebrate and bacterial food webs to support important trophic levels of anthropogenically exploited taxa, including coastal fish and shell fisheries and coastal avifauna. In the case of sediment stability, biogenic exopolymers, usually referred to as extracellular polymeric substances (EPS), produced by the MPB in part to facilitate mobility, may contribute significantly to sediment stability, hence increasing the sediment resistance to hydrodynamic stresses and thus resistance to coastal erosion (e.g. Underwood and Kromkamp 1999 and citations there-in). Finally, the photosynthetic production of oxygen can be regarded as an important ecosystem function.


Light Curve Light Curf Rapid Light Curf Light History Variable Chlorophyll Fluorescence 
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

© Springer Netherlands 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. G. Perkins
    • 1
  • J. C. Kromkamp
    • 2
  • J. Serôdio
    • 3
  • J. Lavaud
    • 4
  • B. Jesus
    • 5
  • J. L. Mouget
    • 6
  • S. Lefebvre
    • 7
  • R. M. Forster
    • 8
  1. 1.School of Earth and Ocean SciencesCardiff UniversityCardiffUK
  2. 2.NIOO-KNAW Centre for Estuarine and Marine EcologyYersekeThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Departamento de Biologia and CESAM – Centro de Estudos do Ambiente e do MarUniversidade de AveiroAveiroPortugal
  4. 4.CNRS UMR6250 ‘LIENSs’, Institute for Coastal and Environmental Research (ILE)University of La RochelleLa Rochelle cedexFrance
  5. 5.Centro de Oceanografia, Faculdade de Ciências daUniversidade de LisboaLisboaPortugal
  6. 6.Laboratoire de Physiologie et de Biochimie végétales, MMS EA 2160Université du MaineLe Mans Cedex 9France
  7. 7.Laboratoire de Biologie et Biotechnologies MarineUniversité de Caen, Esplanade de la PaixCaen cedexFrance
  8. 8.Ecosystem InteractionsCentre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS)LowestoftUK

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