4 years ago

Environmental characterization of a semiarid hyper saline system based on dissolved trace metal-macronutrient synergy: A multivariate spatio-temporal approach

Trace metals and macronutrients play key roles in marine biogeochemical processes. Despite their higher availability, no reliable information is available on their ecological role in the hypersaline waters of NW Arabian Gulf. The present study identifies their synergistic effect on environmental characteristics and autotrophic biomass in the shallow coastal and offshore waters, off Kuwait on a seasonal basis. Surface water samples collected along four predefined transects were analyzed for physico-chemical and biological variables during summer (n=27) and winter (n=27) seasons. Multivariate analyses revealed clear spatial and seasonal trends, and identified the best suit of environmental variables responsible for the seasonal variability in phytoplankton biomass. Using statistically derived supply to demand ratios, carbon-trace metal stoichiometry, and bioavailability of trace metals, we propose possible growth regulating factors for phytoplankton on a seasonal basis in the NW Arabian Gulf, off Kuwait. This is the first report on trace metals from the entire Arabian Gulf, using clean techniques and multivariate statistical approach.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0025326X17308263

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