Optical assessment of phytoplankton nutrient depletion

M.R. Heath, Katherine Richardson, Thomas Kiørboe

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

The ratio of light absorption at 480 and 665 nm by 90% acetone extracts of marine phytoplankton pigments has been examined as a potential indicator of phytoplankton nutritional status in both laboratory and field studies. The laboratory studies demonstrated a clear relationship between nutritional status (carbon/nitrogen ratio) and the absorption ratio that was independent of light and temperature climate. The absorption ratio for nutrient-replete cells was shown to vary between taxonomic groups. However, the inter-specific variation was less than the differences observed between nutrient-replete and nutrient-depleted cells. The field data suggest that the absorption ratio may be a useful indicator of nutritional status of natural phytoplankton populations, and can be used to augment the interpretation of other data.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Plankton Research
Volume12
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)381-396
ISSN0142-7873
Publication statusPublished - 1990

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