CS29 Phytoplankton & Primary Production
Date: Monday, June 10, 2002
Time: 2:30:00 PM
Location: Oak Bay
 
PetersonTD, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, tpeterson@eos.ubc.ca
Putland, J, N, Institute of Ocean Sciences, Sidney, Canada, 
Whitney, F, A, Institute of Ocean Sciences, Sidney, Canada, whitneyf@pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca
Harrison, P, J, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, harrison@ust.hk
 
COCCOLITHOPHORE ABUNDANCE AND INORGANIC PRIMARY PRODUCTIVITY IN MESOSCALE EDDIES IN THE NORTHEAST PACIFIC
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Long-lived anticyclonic mesoscale eddies formed off the coast of the Queen Charlotte Islands transport coastally-derived nutrients, including trace metals, to HNLC waters of the subarctic North Pacific. Over time, primary productivity decreases as metals are stripped out. The low metal requirements of coccolith-bearing prymnesiophytes may afford these organisms a competitive advantage over other phytoplankton species in a metal-limited environment. We observed a higher abundance of coccolithophores in a 16-month-old versus a 4-month-old eddy. Shifts in species composition that favor the growth of coccolithophores may influence the air-sea carbon dioxide equilibrium in the vicinity of such eddies, since fixation of carbon as inorganic calcite can lead to increased dissolved inorganic carbon and outgassing of CO2. Although abundance of these cells was higher in the older eddy, inorganic primary productivity was highest in the surface waters at the edge of the younger eddy. Coccolithophore distribution, abundance, and inorganic primary productivity coincide with differences in dissolved inorganic carbon concentration observed by others over the summer period.