PHOTOSYNTHETIC PICOPLANKTON COMMUNITY STRUCTURE IN THE SUBTROPICAL NORTH PACIFIC-OCEAN NEAR HAWAII (STATION ALOHA)
- Additional Document Info
- View All
The structure of the picoplankton community in the subtropical Pacific was examined on four depth profiles, one from each season, sampled at the Hawaii Ocean Time-series station ALOHA (2245N, 158W). Three cell populations were discriminated by flow cytometry: Prochlorococcus prochlorophytes, Synechococcus cyanobacteria, and picoeukaryotes. Prochlorococcus were the most abundant component (maximum ca 2 105 cells ml-1). Unlike previous reports, their concentration was almost constant down to roughly 100 m, with a slight maximum at the surface or near the chlorophyll maximum. Cellular chlorophyll fluorescence increased 50-fold between surface and deep populations. One distinguishing feature of the community off Hawaii was the co-occurrence near the chlorophyll maximum of at least two distinct Prochlorococcus populations with different chlorophyll and DNA contents. Throughout the year, Synechococcus abundance was two orders of magnitude lower and there was no seasonal alteration between Prochlorococcus and Synechococcus, as observed in the northern Sargasso Sea. Synechococcus populations did not extend below 120 m and were dominated by high phycourobilin cell types. Picoeukaryote abundance was quite similar to that of Synechococcus, but these cells extended deeper in the water column. Their chlorophyll fluorescence exhibited much less depth variation than Prochlorococcus or Synechococcus. Seasonal variability was small (<2- to 3-fold) for all three components of the picoplankton, not only for cell abundance but also for cellular parameters such as light scatter or pigment fluorescence. Synechococcus populations exhibited the largest seasonal changes (e.g. abundance maximum and chlorophyll fluorescence varied 3-fold). Picoplankton community structure in the Pacific Ocean appears to be distinct from previous reports for other areas. In comparing station ALOHA to the Atlantic Ocean (especially the Sargasso Sea) and the Mediterranean Sea, depth-integrated abundances of Prochlorococcus were higher, that of Synechococcus were lower, and that of picoeukaryotes were similar. We believe this structure, dominated by Prochlorococcus, may be typical for subtropical open-ocean regions. 1993.
DEEP-SEA RESEARCH PART I-OCEANOGRAPHIC RESEARCH PAPERS
author list (cited authors)
CAMPBELL, L., & VAULOT, D.
complete list of authors