Marine Science Faculty Publications

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Temporal variations in primary production and surface chlorophyll concentrations, as measured by ship and satellite around Bermuda, were simulated with a numerical model. In the upper 450 m of the water column, population dynamics of a size‐fractionated phytoplankton community were forced by daily changes of wind, light, grazing stress, and nutrient availability. The temporal variations of production and chlorophyll were driven by changes in nutrient introduction to the euphotic zone due to both high‐ and low‐frequency changes of the mixed layer depth within 32°‐34°N, 62°‐64°W between 1979 and 1984. Results from the model derived from high‐frequency (case 1) changes in the mixed layer depth showed variations in primary production and peak chlorophyll concentrations when compared with results from the model derived from low‐frequency (case 2) mixed layer depth changes. Incorporation of size‐fractionated plankton state variables in the model led to greater seasonal resolution of measured primary production and vertical chlorophyll profiles. The findings of this study highlight the possible inadequacy of estimating primary production in the sea from data of low‐frequency temporal resolution and oversimplified biological simulations.

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Journal of Geophysical Research, v. 99, issue C4, p. 7539-7553

Copyright 1994 by the American Geophysical Union.