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Biomass of Bacteria, Cyanobacteria, Prochlorophytes, and Photosynthetic Eucaryotes in the Sargasso Sea

  • W. K. W. Li
  • P. M. Dickie
  • B. D. Irwin
  • A. M. Wood
Part of the Environmental Science Research book series (ESRH, volume 43)

Abstract

Bacteria, cyanobacteria, prochlorophytes, and photosynthetic eukaryotes were enumerated in depth profiles at a station in the northern Sargasso Sea occupied for 9 days during September, 1988. Carbon biomass of each group was inferred from cell abundance using conversion factors taken from the literature. Over the upper 200 m in the water column, carbon biomass occurred in the approximate proportion of 1:2:4:8 for cyanobacteria: prochlorophytes: photosynthetic eukaryotes: bacteria. Taken together, the three phytoplankton groups represented about the same amount of carbon biomass as the bacteria. This conclusion was validated by the independent measure of bulk chlorophyll a if the carbomchl ratio was assumed to be about 44 in the nitrate-depleted layer and about 15 in the nitrate-rich layer. In reporting the biomass co-dominance of bacteria and phytoplankton, we do not deny that bacteria may dominate phytoplankton at other times and in other places in the oligotrophic ocean. Biomass co-dominance between these two trophic groups admits the possibility that oligotrophic bacterial assemblages may have high growth rates.

Keywords

Trophic Group Benthic Alga Phytoplankton Group Thalassiosira Pseudonana Photosynthetic Eukaryote 
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.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. K. W. Li
    • 1
  • P. M. Dickie
    • 1
  • B. D. Irwin
    • 1
  • A. M. Wood
    • 2
  1. 1.Bedford InstituteDartmouthCanada
  2. 2.University of OregonEugeneUSA

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