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Near surface nutrient and phytoplankton distribution in the Drake Passage during early December


Nutrient concentrations and phytoplankton species composition in near surface samples were studied along a S-N gradient in the Drake Passage, in early December 1984. Nitrate concentrations were much lower than usually previously reported from circum-Antarctic waters. Comparison of dissolved nutrient concentrations with growth requirements of Antarctic plankton algae suggests potential limitation of at least some species by nitrate or silicate. The taxonomic composition of the phytoplankton in our samples seemed to be partially controlled by competition for limiting nutrients.

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Sommer, U., Stabel, H. Near surface nutrient and phytoplankton distribution in the Drake Passage during early December. Polar Biol 6, 107–110 (1986).

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  • Nitrate
  • Silicate
  • Phytoplankton
  • Species Composition
  • Surface Sample