Marine Biology

, Volume 41, Issue 1, pp 29–38 | Cite as

Spatial heterogeneity of phytoplankton populations in estuarine surface microlayers

  • J. J. Manzi
  • P. E. Stofan
  • J. L. Dupuy


Phytoplankton populations are concentrated in surface microlayer waters of the York River and Mobjack Bay, Virginia, USA. The degree of vertical heterogeneity was variable and seemed most dependent on weather conditions (vertical mixing) and total phytoplankton cell densities. Vertical stratification also exhibited some taxocoenotic dependency. Structurally, the phytoplankton communities of the surface microlayer were less diverse than subsurface communities. In general, values of informational diversity (H'), evenness (J), and richness (S and r) are lowest in the surface microlayer and increase with depth (to 3.0 m). Mechanisms which structure and maintain vertical heterogeneity are discussed.


Phytoplankton Stratification Cell Density Weather Condition Spatial Heterogeneity 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. J. Manzi
    • 1
  • P. E. Stofan
    • 2
  • J. L. Dupuy
    • 2
  1. 1.South Carolina Wildlife and Marine Resources DepartmentMarine Resources Research InstituteCharlestonUSA
  2. 2.Virginia Institute of Marine ScienceGloucester PointUSA

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