3 years ago

Trends in phytoplankton phenology in the Mediterranean Sea based on ocean-colour remote sensing

P.m. Salgado-hernanz, M.-f. Racault, J.s. Font-muñoz, G. Basterretxea

Publication date: February 2019

Source: Remote Sensing of Environment, Volume 221

Author(s): P.M. Salgado-Hernanz, M.-F. Racault, J.S. Font-Muñoz, G. Basterretxea

Abstract

Seventeen years (1998–2014) of satellite-derived chlorophyll concentration (Chl) are used to analyse the seasonal and non-seasonal patterns of Chl variability and the long-term trends in phytoplankton phenology in the Mediterranean Sea. With marked regional variations, we observe that seasonality dominates variability representing up to 80% of total Chl variance in oceanic areas, whereas in shelf-sea regions high frequency variations may be dominant representing up to 49% of total Chl variance. Seasonal variations are typically characterized by a phytoplankton growing period occurring in spring and spanning on average 170 days in the western basin and 150 days in the eastern basin. The variations in peak Chl concentrations are higher in the western basin (0.88 ± 1.01 mg m−3) compared to the eastern basin (0.35 ± 1.36 mg m−3). Differences in the seasonal cycle of Chl are also observed between open ocean and coastal waters where more than one phytoplankton growing period are frequent (>0.8 probability). During the study period, on average in the western Mediterranean basin (based on significant trends observed over ~95% of the basin), we show a positive trend in Chl of +0.015 ± 0.016 mg m−3 decade−1, and an increase in the amplitude and duration of the phytoplankton growing period by +0.27 ± 0.29 mg m−3 decade−1 and +11 ± 7 days decade−1 respectively. Changes in Chl concentration in the eastern (and more oligotrophic) basin are generally low, with a trend of −0.004 ± 0.024 mg m−3 decade−1 on average (based on observed significant trends over ~70% of the basin). In this basin, the Chl peak has declined by −0.03 ± 0.08 mg m−3 decade−1 and the growing period duration has decreased by −12 ± 7 days decade−1. The trends in phytoplankton Chl and phenology, estimated in this study over the period 1998–2014, do not reveal significant overall decline/increase in Chl concentration or earlier/delayed timings of the seasonal peak on average over the entire Mediterranean Sea basin. However, we observed large regional variations, suggesting that the response of phytoplankton to environmental and climate forcing may be complex and regionally driven.

You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.