Winter-mixing preconditioning of the spring phytoplankton bloom in the Bay of Biscay

Ricardo González-Gil, Fernando González Taboada, Carlos Cáceres, John L. Largier, Ricardo Anadón

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The spring phytoplankton bloom plays a key role in the dynamics of temperate and polar seas. Nevertheless, the mechanisms and processes behind these blooms remain a subject of considerable debate. We analyzed the influence of deep mixing during winter on the spring phytoplankton bloom in the Cantabrian Sea (southern Bay of Biscay). To this end, we combined long-term physical and biogeochemical in situ data (1993–2012) and satellite observations (1997–2012). Deeper winter mixing led to higher nitrate and chlorophyll concentrations through the water column during the spring bloom. However, this effect was modified by short-term variability in near-surface stratification in spring. Winter-mixing preconditioning also influenced different spring bloom metrics: deeper and later mixing in winter was followed by later blooms with a larger peak. In these enhanced blooms, nitrate was taken up at faster rates, indicating higher rates of phytoplankton production. Winters with weaker mixing (that led to weaker spring blooms) were associated with warmer surface temperatures. This relationship suggests that the multi-decadal trend toward warmer surface temperatures in the Bay of Biscay may promote a decrease in the magnitude of the spring bloom, which could impact upper trophic levels and also deep carbon export in the future.
LanguageEnglish
Number of pages19
JournalLimnology and Oceanography
Early online date20 Dec 2017
DOIs
StateE-pub ahead of print - 20 Dec 2017

Fingerprint

Bay of Biscay
Phytoplankton
Preconditioning
algal blooms
algal bloom
phytoplankton
winter
Nitrate
surface temperature
nitrates
Weak Mixing
Chlorophyll
nitrate
Stratification
Carbon
trophic level
chlorophyll
Water
Metric
stratification

Keywords

  • phytoplankton bloom
  • Bay of Biscay
  • Cantabrian Sea
  • phytoplankton production

Cite this

González-Gil, R., González Taboada, F., Cáceres, C., Largier, J. L., & Anadón, R. (2017). Winter-mixing preconditioning of the spring phytoplankton bloom in the Bay of Biscay. Limnology and Oceanography . DOI: 10.1002/lno.10769
González-Gil, Ricardo ; González Taboada, Fernando ; Cáceres, Carlos ; Largier, John L. ; Anadón, Ricardo. / Winter-mixing preconditioning of the spring phytoplankton bloom in the Bay of Biscay. In: Limnology and Oceanography . 2017
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González-Gil, R, González Taboada, F, Cáceres, C, Largier, JL & Anadón, R 2017, 'Winter-mixing preconditioning of the spring phytoplankton bloom in the Bay of Biscay' Limnology and Oceanography . DOI: 10.1002/lno.10769

Winter-mixing preconditioning of the spring phytoplankton bloom in the Bay of Biscay. / González-Gil, Ricardo; González Taboada, Fernando; Cáceres, Carlos; Largier, John L.; Anadón, Ricardo.

In: Limnology and Oceanography , 20.12.2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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González-Gil R, González Taboada F, Cáceres C, Largier JL, Anadón R. Winter-mixing preconditioning of the spring phytoplankton bloom in the Bay of Biscay. Limnology and Oceanography . 2017 Dec 20. Available from, DOI: 10.1002/lno.10769