CROSS-SHELF PHYTOPLANKTON DYNAMICS IN THE ‎NORTHEASTERN LEVANTINE BASIN
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Keywords

Phytoplankton
Abundance
Diversity
Distribution
Levantine basin

How to Cite

Uysal, Z. (2020). CROSS-SHELF PHYTOPLANKTON DYNAMICS IN THE ‎NORTHEASTERN LEVANTINE BASIN. Pakistan Journal of Marine Sciences, 29(2), 63–82. Retrieved from http://pakjmsuok.com/index.php/pjms/article/view/65

Abstract

A time series sampling program at monthly intervals was carried out at three stations ‎across the shelf in the northeastern Levantine basin to collect phytoplankton samples ‎and associated physical (temperature, salinity, secchi disc depth) variables over a year. ‎Quality and quantity of phytoplankton varied significantly across the shelf in time. Total ‎‎71 diatom, 40 dinoflagellate, 4 silicoflagellate and 17 coccolithophore species have been ‎identified from the study area. Diatoms’ contribution to total phytoplankton abundance ‎was maximal during autumn and spring in the nearshore and only during spring in the ‎mid shelf. Coccolithophores formed the dominant group almost throughout the year ‎except May and June in the offshore. Dinoflagellates formed the least abundant group in ‎the shelf over the year. Phytoplankton species have been found the most abundant and ‎diverse during spring when the river runoff to the basin was maximal. In general, a ‎decreasing trend in phytoplankton abundance towards offshore was prominent. ‎Phytoplankton has been found most abundant in the entire shelf during spring and early ‎summer reaching a peak level of 2.7 x 106 cells/l during May in the shallowest station. A ‎huge difference in quantity was observed in phytoplankton contents of the nearshore ‎and offshore waters during summer. Multivariate analyses have shown formation of ‎distinct seasonal phytoplankton assemblages throughout the year. Based on Spearman’s ‎rank correlation analysis, a highly significant negative correlation (n=35, rs= -.587, P < ‎‎0.01) was observed between phytoplankton abundance and surface salinity. ‎Superimposed surface temperatures seemed to better illustrate seasonal clusters relative ‎to surface salinity plots.‎

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Copyright (c) 2020 Zahit Uysal