Advertisement

Marine Biology

, Volume 55, Issue 1, pp 17–21 | Cite as

Significance of ammonia in determining the N:P ratio of the sea water off Barbados, West Indies

  • F. Sander
  • E. Moore
Article

Abstract

N:P atomic ratios calculated on NO3-N alone for the upper waters of the tropical Atlantic Ocean off Barbados are very low, being only 9.8:1. Absolute values are also low, the integrated values between O and 100 m for NO3-N and PO4-P being 0.59 and 0.06 μg-at l-1, respectively. However, when ammonia is included as a nitrogen source the ratio becomes 28.8:1. This is the average value obtained from 42 samples taken over a 21-month period, and suggests that phosphorus, and not nitrogen, is the more critical nutrient in phytoplankton growth off Barbados.

Keywords

Nitrogen Ammonia Phosphorus Phytoplankton Nitrogen Source 
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.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Literature Cited

  1. Banoub, M.W. and P.J. LeB. Williams: Organic material in the sea. J. mar. biol. Ass. U.K. 53, 695–703 (1973)Google Scholar
  2. Beers, J.R., D.M. Steven and J.B. Lewis: Primary productivity in the Caribbean Sea off Jamaica and the tropical North Atlantic off Barbados. Bull. mar. Sci. 18, 86–104 (1968)Google Scholar
  3. Butler, E.I., S. Knox and M.I. Liddicoat: The relationship between inorganic and organic nutrients in seawater. J. mar. biol. Ass. U.K. 59, 239–250 (1979)Google Scholar
  4. Carpenter, E.J., C.C. Remsen and S.W. Watson: Utilization of urea by some marine phytoplankters. Limnol. Oceanogr. 17, 265–269 (1972)Google Scholar
  5. Chu, S.P.: The utilization of organic phosphorus by phytoplankton. J. mar. biol. Ass. U.K. 26, 285–295 (1946)Google Scholar
  6. Cooper, L.H.N.: The nitrogen cycle in the sea. J. mar. biol. Ass. U.K. 22, 182–204 (1937)Google Scholar
  7. Droop, M.R.: Vitamin B12 and marine ecology. IV. The kinetics of uptake, growth and inhibition in Monochrysis lutheri. J. mar. biol. Ass. U.K. 48, 689–733 (1968)Google Scholar
  8. — Vitamin B12 and marine ecology. V. Continuous culture as an approach to nutritional kinetics. Helgoländer wiss. Meeresunters. 20, 629–636 (1970)Google Scholar
  9. Eppley, R.W., J.N. Rogers and J.J. McCarthy: Half saturation constants for uptake of nitrate and ammonium by marine photplankton. Limnol. Oceanogr. 14, 912–920 (1969)Google Scholar
  10. — and J.D.H. Strickland: Kinetics of marine phytoplankton growth. In: Advances in microbiology of the sea, Vol. 1. pp 23–62. Ed. by M.R. Droop and E.J.F. Wood. London: Academic Press 1968Google Scholar
  11. Goering, J.J., D.D. Wallen and R.A. Neumann: Nitrogen uptake by phytoplankton in the discontinuity layer of the eastern subtropical Pacific Ocean. Limnol. Oceanogr. 15, 789–796 (1970)Google Scholar
  12. Grant, B.R., J. Madgwick and G. Dalpont: Growth of Cylindrotheca closterium var. Californica (Mereschk.) Reimann and Lewin on nitrate, ammonium, and urea. Aust. J. mar. Freshwat. Res. 18, 129–136 (1967)Google Scholar
  13. Guillard, R.R.L.: Organic sources of nitrogen for marine centric diatoms. In: Symposium on Marine Microbiology, pp 93–104. Ed. by C.H. Oppenheimer. Springfield, Illinois: Thomas 1963Google Scholar
  14. Harris, E.: The nitrogen cycle in Long Island Sound. Bull. Bingham oceanogr. Coll. 17, 31–65 (1959)Google Scholar
  15. Harvey, H.W.: The chemistry and fertility of sea waters, 224 pp. Cambridge: University Press 1955Google Scholar
  16. Herbland, A.: In situ utilization of urea in the euphotic zone of the tropical Atlantic. J. exp. mar. Biol. Ecol. 21, 269–277 (1976)Google Scholar
  17. Margalef, R.: The pelagic ecosystem of the Caribbean Sea. In: Symposium on Investigations and Resources of the Caribbean Sea and Adjacent Regions, pp 483–498. Paris. UNESCO 1971Google Scholar
  18. McCarthy, J.J.: The uptake of urea by natural populations of marine phytoplankton. Limnol. Oceanogr. 17, 738–748 (1972)Google Scholar
  19. — and J.C. Goldman: Nitrogenous nutrition of marine phytoplankton in nutrient-depleted waters. Science, N.Y. 201, 671–672 (1979)Google Scholar
  20. Mullin, J.B. and J.P. Riley: The spectrophotometric determination of nitrate in natural waters, with special reference to sea water. Analytica chim. Acta 12, 464–480 (1955)Google Scholar
  21. Murphy, J. and J.P. Riley: A modified single solution method for determination of phosphate in natural waters. Analytica chim. Acta 27, 31–36 (1962)Google Scholar
  22. Parsons, T.R. and M. Takahashi: Biological oceanographic processes, 186 pp. Oxford: Pergamon Press 1973Google Scholar
  23. Remsen, C.C.: The distribution of urea in coastal and oceanic waters. Limnol. Oceanogr. 16, 732–740 (1971)Google Scholar
  24. Richards, F.A. and R.A. Kletsch: The spectrophotometric determination of ammonia and labile amino compounds in fresh and sea water by oxidation to nitrate. In: Recent researches in the fields of hydrosphere, atmosphere and nuclear geochemistry, pp 65–81. Ed. by Y. Mikaye and T. Koyama. Tokyo: Maruza Co. Ltd. 1964Google Scholar
  25. Riley, G.A.: Plankton studies. I. A. preliminary investigation of the plankton of the Tortugas region. J. mar. Res. 1, 335–353 (1938)Google Scholar
  26. —, H. Stommel and D.F. Bumpus: Quantitative ecology of the plankton of the western North Atlantic. Bull. Bingham oceanogr. Coll. 12, 1–69 (1949)Google Scholar
  27. Ryther, J.H.: The ratio of photosynthesis to respiration in marine plankton algae and its effect upon the measurement of productivity. Deep-Sea Res. 2, 134–139 (1954)Google Scholar
  28. — and W.M. Dunstan: Nitrogen, phosphorus and eutrophication in the coastal marine environment. Science, N.Y. 171, 1008–1013 (1971)Google Scholar
  29. —, J.R. Hall, A.K. Pease, A. Bakum and M.M. Jones: Primary organic production in relation to the chemistry and hydrography of the western Indian Ocean. Limnol. Oceanogr. 11, 372–380 (1966)Google Scholar
  30. — and D.W. Menzel: Primary production in the southwest Sargasso Sea January–February, 1960. Bull. mar. Sci. Gulf Caribb. 11, 381–388 (1961)Google Scholar
  31. — and C.S. Yentsch: Primary production of continental shelf waters off New York: Limnol. Oceanogr. 3, 327–335 (1958)Google Scholar
  32. Sander, F. and D.M. Steven: Organic productivity of inshore and offshore waters of Barbados: a study of the island mass effect. Bull. mar. Sci. 23, 771–792 (1973)Google Scholar
  33. Savidge, C. and H.T. Hutley: Rates of remineralization and assimilation of urea by fractionated plankton populations in coastal waters. J. exp. mar. Biol. Ecol. 28, 1–16 (1977)Google Scholar
  34. Schell, D.M.: Uptake and regeneration of free amino acids in marine waters of southeast Alaska. Limnol. Oceanogr. 19, 260–270 (1974)Google Scholar
  35. Steele, J.H.: Plant production in the northern North Sea. Mar. Res. 7, 1–36 (1958)Google Scholar
  36. Stefansson, U. and F.A. Richards: Processes contributing to the nutrient distribution off the Columbia River and Strait of Juan de Fuca. Limnol. Oceanogr. 8, 394–410 (1963)Google Scholar
  37. Steven, D.M.: Primary productivity of the tropical western Atlantic Ocean near Barbados. Mar. Biol. 10, 261–264 (1971)Google Scholar
  38. — and A.L. Brooks: Identification of Amazon River water at Barbados, West Indies, by salinity and silicate measurements. Mar. Biol. 14, 345–348 (1972)Google Scholar
  39. Strickland, J.D.H., O. Holm-Hansen, R.W. Eppley and R.J. Linn: The use of a deep tank in plankton ecology. I. Studies of the growth and composition of phytoplankton crops at low nutrient levels. Limnol. Oceanogr. 14, 23–34 (1969)Google Scholar
  40. — and T.R. Parsons: A manual of sea water analysis. (2nd ed., revised) Bull. Fish. Res. Bd Can. 125, 1–203 (1965)Google Scholar
  41. Syrett, P.M.: Nitrogen assimilation. In: Physiology and biochemistry of algae, pp 171–188. Ed. by R.A. Lewin. London: Academic Press 1962Google Scholar
  42. Thomas, W.H. Phytoplankton nutrient enrichment experiments off Baja California and in the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean. J. Fish. Res. Bd Can. 26, 1133–1145 (1969)Google Scholar
  43. — On nitrogen deficiency in tropical Pacific oceanic phytoplankton: photosynthetic parameters in poor and rich waters. Limnol. Oceanogr. 15, 380–385 (1970a)Google Scholar
  44. — Effect of ammonium and nitrate concentrations on chlorophyll increases in natural tropical Pacific phytoplankton populations. Limnol. Oceanogr. 15, 386–394 (1970b)Google Scholar
  45. — and R.W. Owen, Jr.: Estimating phytoplankton production from ammonium and chlorophyll concentrations in nutrient-poor waters of the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean. Fish. Bull. U.S. 69, 87–92 (1971)Google Scholar
  46. Vaccaro, R.F.: Available nitrogen and phosphorus and the biochemical cycle in the Atlantic off New England. J. mar. Res. 21, 284–301 (1963)Google Scholar
  47. — and J.H. Ryther: Marine phytoplankton and the distribution of nitrite in the sea. J. Cons. perm. int. Explor. Mer. 25, 260–271 (1960)Google Scholar
  48. Vince, S. and I. Valiela: The effects of ammonium and phosphate enrichments on chlorophyll a, pigment ratio and species composition of phytoplankton of Vineyard Sound. Mar. Biol. 19, 69–73 (1973)Google Scholar
  49. Wheeler, P.A., B.B. North and G.C. Stephen: Amino acid uptake by marine phytoplankton. Limnol. Oceanogr. 19, 249–259 (1974)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. Sander
    • 1
  • E. Moore
    • 2
  1. 1.Bellairs Research Institute of McGill UniversitySt. JamesBarbados, West Indies
  2. 2.Department of BiologyUniversity of the West IndiesSt. MichaelBarbados, West Indies

Personalised recommendations