CS08 Biogeochemical Cycles
Date: Tuesday, June 11, 2002
Location: Poster Session - VCC
 
SylvanJB, Institute of Marine and Coastal Science, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, USA, sylvan@imcs.rutgers.edu
Ammerman, J, W, Institute of Marine and Coastal Science, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, USA, ammerman@imcs.rutgers.edu
 
MAPPING SEASONAL PHOSPHORUS LIMITATION IN THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER PLUME
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Past studies have shown that both bacterial and phytoplankton abundance and production in the Mississippi River Plume (MRP) are typically maximal at intermediate salinities within the plume. There is also a potential for phosphorus limitation of plankton production in the spring and summer. The goal of this project was to assess this phosphorus limitation of the plankton community, and to map the extent of phosphorus limitation in the MRP and observe a seasonal pattern. Using alkaline phosphatase assays, nutrient ratios, and flow cytometry, we found that phosphorus limitation extends over major regions of the MRP in varying degrees of severity from the late spring through the early summer. By the late summer, phosphorus limitation is relieved and nitrogen becomes the principal limiting nutrient.