MEPS 287:45-52 (2005)  -  doi:10.3354/meps287045

Constraining effect of mesoscale features on carbon budget of photic layer in the NE subtropical Atlantic

Beatriz Mouriño1,5,*, Emilio Fernández1, Robin Pingree2, Bablu Sinha3, José Escánez4, Demetrio de Armas4

1Universidade de Vigo, Departamento de Ecoloxía e Bioloxía Animal, Campus Lagoas-Marcosende, 36200 Vigo, Spain
2The Laboratory, Marine Biological Association, Citadel Hill, Plymouth PL1 2PB, UK
3Southampton Oceanography Centre, Southampton SO14 3ZH, UK
4Instituto Español de Oceanografía, 38120 Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain
5Present address: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Bigelow MS# 9, Woods Hole, Massachusetts 02543, USA

ABSTRACT: An oceanographic cruise was carried out in the subtropical NE Atlantic in April 1999 with the aim of investigating the role of the Azores Current, the STORM (subtropical oceanic rings of magnitude) cyclonic eddies and the Great Meteor Tablemount in triggering phytoplankton production. This information combined with previous studies allowed us to determine the role of these features in the carbon budget of the photic layer in this oligotrophic region. The results suggest that mesoscale dynamics, although modifying hydrographic characteristics and phytoplankton spatial distribution, do not appear to significantly affect primary production in the NE subtropical Atlantic.

KEY WORDS: Mesoscale features · Phytoplankton biomass · Primary production · Carbon budget · NE subtropical Atlantic

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