MEPS 505:49-64 (2014)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps10772

Dynamics of phytoplankton diversity structure and primary productivity in the English Channel

Camille Napoléon1,2,3, Liliane Fiant3, Virginie Raimbault1,2, Philippe Riou3, Pascal Claquin1,2,*

1Université de Caen Basse-Normandie, UMR BOREA, 14032 Caen, France
2UMR BOREA, CNRS-7208, IRD-207, MNHN, UPMC, UCBN, 14032 Caen, France
3IFREMER, Laboratoire Environnement Ressources de Normandie, Avenue du Général de Gaulle, 14520 Port-en-Bessin, France
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: The dynamics of the phytoplankton assemblage, the physical, chemical and biological parameters, and primary productivity and production were monitored in the central English Channel along a transect between Ouistreham and Portsmouth from January to December 2010. The spatial patterns of the phytoplankton assemblage were controlled by the hydrological characteristics of the water masses, and the annual structure of the phytoplankton assemblage was characteristic of the central English Channel and was controlled by seasonality. The spring bloom was dominated by a single species, Chaetoceros socialis, and associated with low microphytoplankton evenness and Shannon-Wiener indices, whereas the evenness index was high from late spring to winter and associated with the proliferation of pico- and nanophytoplankton cells. We identified 2 species responsible for harmful algal blooms, Phaeocystis globosa, which dominated the community in the northern part of the Seine Bay in May, and Lepidodinium chlorophorum, which dominated the community near the French coast in September. We examined the relationship between microphytoplankton diversity and maximum primary production and productivity. We found a negative parabolic relationship between the diversity indices (evenness and Shannon-Wiener) and maximum primary production, and a positive parabolic relationship between the number of taxa (richness) and maximum primary production. However, we found no relationship between maximum productivity and the evenness or richness indices. High levels of productivity were measured during the increasing abundance of pico and nanophytoplankton cells, highlighting the importance of taking the dominant functional group into account, rather than the degree of diversity, when explaining the level of productivity.


KEY WORDS: Phytoplankton diversity · Primary production · Productivity · English Channel


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Cite this article as: Napoléon C, Fiant L, Raimbault V, Riou P, Claquin P (2014) Dynamics of phytoplankton diversity structure and primary productivity in the English Channel. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 505:49-64. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps10772

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