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Detection of phytoplankton blooms in Antarctic coastal water with an online mooring system during summer 2010/11

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 September 2013

Yuxin Ma
College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, China The Key Laboratory for Polar Science of State Ocean Administration, Polar Research Institute of China, Shanghai 200136, China
Fang Zhang
The Key Laboratory for Polar Science of State Ocean Administration, Polar Research Institute of China, Shanghai 200136, China
Haizhen Yang
College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, China
Ling Lin
The Key Laboratory for Polar Science of State Ocean Administration, Polar Research Institute of China, Shanghai 200136, China
Jianfeng He*
The Key Laboratory for Polar Science of State Ocean Administration, Polar Research Institute of China, Shanghai 200136, China
*Corresponding author:


In order to continuously monitor the phytoplankton growth in Antarctic coastal waters, an online mooring system was deployed in Great Wall Bay (unofficial name), King George Island, and both chlorophyll a (chl a) concentrations and environmental variables were monitored in a period between December 2010 and March 2011. Water temperatures showed a significant increasing trend (0.27–2.52°C), whereas the salinities displayed a decreasing trend (34.19–33.86). In general, phytoplankton biomass accumulated from mid-December and two significant blooms developed in January (3.18 μg l-1 and 4.75 μg l-1) and were then maintained at a relatively high level, with a transient bloom in late February (4.93 μg l-1). Sea-ice meltwater and terrestrial freshwater input caused by the increase of temperature played an important role in inducing phytoplankton blooms in early summer. The variation and stratification of temperature and salinity signals in different water layers, without total mixing, suggested lateral intrusion of oceanic waters with alternating levels of temperature and salinity and, presumably, phytoplankton as well. Meanwhile, chl a concentrations initially decreased with an increase in irradiance, indicating the shade-adapted characteristic of phytoplankton in early summer, and then gradually adapted to the increasing irradiance. Our results demonstrated the effectiveness and reliability of the online coastal mooring system for the monitoring of Antarctic coastal phytoplankton bloom and environmental conditions.

Biological Sciences
Copyright © Antarctic Science Ltd 2013 

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