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


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.


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.


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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

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