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Bottlenecks in the propagation of a fluctuation up the planktonic size spectrum in Mediterranean coastal waters
F. Jiménez, J. Rodríguez, F. Jiménez-Gómez and B. Bautista

This paper describes how a winter fluctuation of phytoplankton biomass propagates along the size spectrum of planktonic organisms in coastal waters. The cause of the observed fluctuations of biomass is the lack of equilibrium between production and consumption at these moments of the annual cycle which creates a 'bottleneck' in the flow of biomass up the size spectrum. The relative importance of the processes causing the losses which modify the bloom were estimated, leading to the conclusion that, in this case, decomposition within the water column and sinking to the benthos were the most important. These findings appear to support the authors previous hypothesis which emphasised the importance of a detrital loop in the propagation of these kind of fluctuations along the planktonic size spectra in coastal ecosystems. These fluctuations are discussed within the conceptual framework of new and regenerated production in Mediterranean waters.

Keywords: size-biomass spectrum, fluctuation, plankton dynamics.
Contents of this volume Sci. Mar. 53(2-3) : 269-275 Back PDF
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