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Modelling the time-evolution of phytoplankton size spectra from satellite remote sensing

Roy, S., Platt, T. and Sathyendranath, S. (2011) Modelling the time-evolution of phytoplankton size spectra from satellite remote sensing. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 68 (4). pp. 719-728. ISSN 1095-9289

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1093/icesjms/fsq176

Abstract/Summary

A dynamic size-structured model is developed for phytoplankton and nutrients in the oceanic mixed layer and applied to extract phytoplankton biomass at discrete size fractions from remotely sensed, ocean-colour data. General relationships between cell size and biophysical processes (such as sinking, grazing, and primary production) of phytoplankton were included in the model through a bottom–up approach. Time-dependent, mixed-layer depth was used as a forcing variable, and a sequential data-assimilation scheme was implemented to derive model trajectories. From a given time-series, the method produces estimates of size-structured biomass at every observation, so estimates seasonal succession of individual phytoplankton size, derived here from remote sensing for the first time. From these estimates, normalized phytoplankton biomass size spectra over a period of 9 years were calculated for one location in the North Atlantic. Further analysis demonstrated that strong relationships exist between the seasonal trends of the estimated size spectra and the mixed-layer depth, nutrient biomass, and total chlorophyll. The results contain useful information on the time-dependent biomass flux in the pelagic ecosystem.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:No Reading authors. Back catalogue items
Faculty of Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Earth Systems Science
Faculty of Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Geography and Environmental Science
ID Code:33654
Uncontrolled Keywords:mixed-layer modulation; ocean colour; phytoplankton; sequential data assimilation; size spectrum; size-structured model; size succession
Publisher:Oxford University Press

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