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Seasonal variations of phytoplankton dynamics in Nunatsiavut fjords (Labrador, Canada) and their relationships with environmental conditions.

Simo-Matchim, Armelle-Galine; Gosselin, Michel; Blais, Marjolaine; Gratton, Yves; Tremblay, Jean-Éric (2016). Seasonal variations of phytoplankton dynamics in Nunatsiavut fjords (Labrador, Canada) and their relationships with environmental conditions. Journal of Marine Systems , vol. 156 . p. 56-75. DOI: 10.1016/j.jmarsys.2015.11.007.

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Résumé

We assessed phytoplankton dynamics and its environmental control in four Labrador fjords (Nachvak, Saglek, Okak, and Anaktalak) during summer, early fall and late fall. Primary production and chlorophyll a (chl a) biomass were measured at seven optical depths, including the depth of subsurface chl a maximum (SCM). Phytoplankton abundance, size structure and taxonomy were determined at the SCM. Principal component analysis and non-metric multidimensional scaling were used to analyze relationships between production, biomass and community composition in relation to environmental variables. We observed a marked seasonal variability, with significant differences in phytoplankton structure and function between summer and fall. Surprisingly, primary production and chl a biomass were not significantly different from one fjord to another. The highest values of primary production (1730 mg C m- 2 d- 1) and chl a biomass (96 mg chl a m- 2) were measured during the summer bloom, and those high values indicate that Labrador fjords are highly productive ecosystems. The summer community showed relatively high abundance of nanophytoplankton (2–20 μm) while the fall community was characterized by low primary production and chl a biomass as well as relatively high abundance of picophytoplankton (< 2 μm). The low value of carbon potentially exported out of the euphotic zone throughout the study (≤ 31% of total primary production) suggests that phytoplankton production was mainly grazed by microzooplankton rather than being exported to greater depths. We observed a mixed assemblage of diatoms and flagellates in summer, whereas the fall community was largely dominated by flagellates. Seasonal variations in phytoplankton dynamics were mainly controlled by the strength of the vertical stratification and by the large differences in day length due to the northerly location of Labrador fjords. This study documents for the very first time phytoplankton structure and function in Labrador fjords, and provides an essential foundation for further research and for monitoring environmental changes in arctic and subarctic coastal areas.

Type de document:
Mots-clés libres: phytoplankton production and biomass; size structure; taxonomic composition; seasonal variations; Arctic; Canada; Labrador; fjords
Centre: Centre Eau Terre Environnement
Date de dépôt: 20 déc. 2016 16:22
Dernière modification: 20 déc. 2016 16:22
URI: http://espace.inrs.ca/id/eprint/4012

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