Phytoplankton response to the contrasting physical regimes in the eastern Arabian Sea during north east monsoon
MetadataShow full item record
Phytoplankton abundance and composition in two contrasting physical regimes - convective mixing in the northeastern Arabian Sea (NEAS) and Arabian Sea mini warm pool (ASMWP) in the southeastern Arabian Sea (SEAS) - were investigated during the northeast monsoon (NEM) of 2015 and 2017. Observations in 2015 were carried out late during the season, and only one station in the north (at 21�N latitude) fell within the zone of convective mixing where microplankton was dominated by diatoms. In 2017, convective mixing occurred even at 16�N latitude, but the microplankton contribution was low, presumably due to low Si/N ratios. Within the convective mixing regime of the NEAS, chlorophyll (Chl) a concentrations were higher in 2015 (maximum 1080-ng-L-1; average 493-ng-L-1) than in 2017 (maximum 673-ng-L-1; average 263-ng-L-1). In contrast, picophytoplankton were dominant in the ASMWP of the SEAS with peak abundance associated with the subsurface chlorophyll maximum. A warm core eddy was present in 2015 in the SEAS where four times higher Prochlorococcus counts were found within the core of the eddy than at its periphery. This study provides the first description of the phytoplankton community in the ASMWP. Our results clearly demonstrate phytoplankton response to the contrasting physical conditions, highlighting the role of bio-physical coupling in the productivity of the Arabian Sea.
- Scholarly literature