Succession of phytoplankton functional groups from spring to early summer in the central Bohai Sea using HPLC–CHEMTAX approaches
Phytoplankton is a key component in the functioning of marine ecosystems, phytoplankton community structures are very sensitive to their environment. This study was conducted in the central Bohai Sea in the spring and early summer of 2015. Spatial variations in phytoplankton functional groups were examined through high-performance liquid chromatography pigment–CHEMTAX analysis. Results suggested that the phytoplankton biomass (chlorophyll a [Chl a]) in spring was mainly derived from the diatom community and was 3.5-fold higher than that in the summer. Meanwhile, the phytoplankton in the early summer sustained more diverse marker pigments than that in the spring. Despite the overwhelming predominance of microsized phytoplankton in the spring, some smaller phytoplankton (pico- or nanosized), including flagellates, such as prasinophytes, chlorophytes, and cryptophytes, highly contributed to the total Chl a in the summer. Various physico-chemical variables were recorded, and their correlations with phytoplankton density were established by redundancy analysis. Temperature, water stratification, nutrient availability, and even nutritive proportion influenced the succession of phytoplankton functional groups from diatom dominance in the spring to flagellate (mainly haptophytes and prasinophytes) dominance in the early summer. In conclusion, our work comprehensively evaluated the phytoplankton diversity and dynamics in the central Bohai Sea and suggests the need for long-term monitoring for further investigation.
Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10872-018-0469-x
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