Annual variations of total and fractionated chlorophyll and phytoplankton groups in the Gulf of Cadiz.

Abstract

Chlorophyll and phytoplankton distribution and concentration in the Gulf of Cadiz were studied during 2014 and 2015. In both years the highest chlorophyll concentrations are found at coastal stations during spring. Pico- and nanophytoplankton are the main contributors to total chlorophyll, with highest concentrations at the outer limit of the continental shelf. Microphytoplankton is responsible for most of the inshore chlorophyll. Picophytoplankton was analyzed to determine density, biomass and distribution. Prochlorococcus and Synechococcus show differences in distribution depending on distance from the coast and depth. Our results suggest temperature and consequent water stratification seem to be the main factors determining deep fluorescence maxima (DFM), mainly formed by picophytoplankton, especially Prochlorococcus. Pigment identification assisted by CHEMTAX analysis was carried out to analyze relative concentrations of larger phytoplankton.

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