Overview on Primary Production in the Southwestern Atlantic

  • Vivian LutzEmail author
  • Valeria Segura
  • Ana Dogliotti
  • Virginia Tavano
  • Frederico P. Brandini
  • Danilo L. Calliari
  • Aurea M. Ciotti
  • Virginia F. Villafañe
  • Irene R. Schloss
  • Flavia M. P. Saldanha Corrêa
  • Hugo Benavides
  • Denise Vizziano Cantonnet


Photosynthesis is the fundamental process by which autotrophs produce organic matter to sustain the biosphere using basic elements (i.e., CO2 and H2O) and solar irradiance as energy source. Marine phytoplankton provides near half of the global primary production (PP), being at the base of most marine trophic webs and playing an important role in the cycling of atmospheric CO2. Therefore, it is crucial to estimate and understand the relationships between environmental conditions and PP rates in the global ocean. There are scarce field estimations of PP in the southern hemisphere and in the Southwestern Atlantic in particular. Hence, global estimates are generally made using indirect methods, such as satellite or biogeochemical models, which should be validated and adjusted with field data to produce reliable results.

In this section we synthesize the available information, assembling recent field PP estimations obtained by research groups from Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay. We evaluate the insights derived from this integrated dataset on the spatial and temporal dynamics of the phytoplankton production in the Southwestern Atlantic. In addition, a general view of the spatial-temporal variation in PP at a regional scale using a simple satellite PP model is presented. Finally, we offer perspectives and recommendations for future studies.


Primary production In situ measurements Satellite-production models Phytoplankton Southwestern Atlantic 



Primary production estimations are labor intensive, hence, the authors wished to thank all the many colleagues that have collaborated throughout the years to produce the results here shown for the region. The financial support from all the institutions involved and the grants held by all the authors are acknowledged. We want to thank the reviewers of the work for their useful comments. This is INIDEP contribution # 2120 .


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vivian Lutz
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Valeria Segura
    • 2
  • Ana Dogliotti
    • 3
  • Virginia Tavano
    • 4
  • Frederico P. Brandini
    • 5
  • Danilo L. Calliari
    • 6
    • 7
  • Aurea M. Ciotti
    • 8
  • Virginia F. Villafañe
    • 9
  • Irene R. Schloss
    • 10
    • 11
  • Flavia M. P. Saldanha Corrêa
    • 5
  • Hugo Benavides
    • 2
  • Denise Vizziano Cantonnet
    • 12
  1. 1.Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras (IIMyC), Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas–Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata (CONICET – UNMdP)Mar del Plata, Buenos AiresArgentina
  2. 2.Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Desarrollo Pesquero (INIDEP)Mar del Plata, Buenos AiresArgentina
  3. 3.Instituto de Astronomía y Física del Espacio (IAFE-CONICET), Universidad de Buenos Aires, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y NaturalesBuenos AiresArgentina
  4. 4.Laboratório de Fitoplâncton e Microorganismos MarinhosUniversidade Federal do Rio GrandeRio GrandeBrazil
  5. 5.Instituto Oceanográfico, Universidade de São PauloSão PauloBrazil
  6. 6.Grupo Ecología Funcional de Sistemas Acuáticos, Centro Universitario Regional del Este (CURE)Universidad de la RepúblicaRochaUruguay
  7. 7.Facultad de Ciencias, Oceanografía y Ecología MarinaUniversidad de la RepúblicaMontevideoUruguay
  8. 8.Universidade de São Paulo, Centro de Biologia Marinha, São SebastiãoSão PauloBrazil
  9. 9.Estación de Fotobiología Playa Unión. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y TécnicasRawsonArgentina
  10. 10.Instituto Antártico ArgentinoSan Martín, Buenos AiresArgentina
  11. 11.Centro Austral de Investigaciones Científicas (CADIC)/Universidad Nacional de Tierra del FuegoUshuaiaArgentina
  12. 12.Laboratorio de Fisiología de la Reproducción y Ecología de Peces, Instituto de Biología, Facultad de Ciencias/Universidad de la República Oriental del UruguayMontevideoUruguay

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