Phytoplankton associated with seasonal oxygen depletion in waters of the western continental shelf of India
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We report here results of a time series study carried out to understand seasonal variability of phytoplankton in relation to changes in dissolved oxygen based on observations at the Candolim Time Series (CaTS) station located in coastal waters of Goa, Central West Coast of India. The water column remains well oxygenated during the non-southwest (SW) monsoon period (November-May). However, upwelling of water already depleted in dissolved oxygen during the SW monsoon, coupled with degradation of copious amounts of locally produced organic matter, leads to severe oxygen depletion including sulphate reduction beneath a thin surface layer during late summer-early autumn (August-October). The onset of oxygen-deficient conditions greatly alters the community structure of water-column phytoplankton. Pico-autotrophs and pennate diatoms were found to dominate the autotrophic biomass in such oxygen depleted waters.
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