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Primary productivity in the Gulf of Riga (Baltic Sea) in relation to phytoplankton species and nutrient variability

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The seasonal patterns of primary production, phytoplankton biomass, chlorophyll a, and nutrients were investigated in the central part of the Gulf of Riga (Baltic Sea) during 2011 and 2012. Annual primary productivity in the gulf was in the range of 353.4–376.2 gC m−2. Maximum carbon fixation rates occurred during the phytoplankton spring bloom from April to May when the winter nutrient pool was rapidly exhausted, suggesting the use of regenerated nutrients already in spring. The new production calculated on the draw-down of nitrates amounted to 51.80% of spring net community production. The production rates during summer were considerably lower owing to the availability of only regenerated nutrients and limited nitrogen fixation. Autumn was established as the least productive season. In autumn despite the elevated nutrient concentrations, the increasingly limited light hindered photosynthetic activity. Species governing the nutrient fluxes and the productivity of the Gulf of Riga are the diatom species responsible for new production in spring. The photosynthetic ciliate Mesodinium rubrum ((Lohmann) Hamburger & Buddenbrock 1911) prevailed in all seasons and significantly correlated with elevated productivity, while diazotrophic cyanobacteria Aphanizomenon flosaquae (Ralfs ex Bornet & Flahault 1886) contributed to new production in the summer nutrient regenerating system.
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Bibliogr. 48 poz., mapy, tab., wykr.
  • Latvian Institute of Aquatic Ecology, Riga, Latvia
  • Latvian Institute of Aquatic Ecology, Riga, Latvia
  • Latvian Institute of Aquatic Ecology, Riga, Latvia
  • Latvian Institute of Aquatic Ecology, Riga, Latvia
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