Impact of moderately energetic fine-scale dynamics on the phytoplankton community structure in the western Mediterranean Sea

Type Article
Date 2021-12
Language English
Author(s) Tzortzis Roxane1, Doglioli Andrea M1, Barrillon Stéphanie1, Petrenko Anne A1, D'Ovidio Francesco2, Izard Lloyd2, Thyssen Melilotus1, Pascual Ananda3, Barcelo-Llull Barbara3, Cyr Frédéric4, Tedetti Marc1, Bhairy Nagib1, Garreau PierreORCID5, Dumas Franck6, Gregori Gérald1
Affiliation(s) 1 : Aix Marseille Univ., Université de Toulon, CNRS, IRD, MIO, Marseille, France
2 : Sorbonne Université, CNRS, IRD, MNHN, Laboratoire d’Océanographie et du Climat: Expérimentations et Approches Numériques (LOCEAN-IPSL), Paris, France
3 : MEDEA (CSIC-UIB), Instituto Mediterráneo de Estudios Avanzados, Esporles, Spain
4 : Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Centre, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, St. John’s, NL, Canada
5 : UMR 6523 CNRS, IFREMER, IRD, UBO, Laboratoire d’Océanographie Physique et Spatiale, Plouzané 29280, France
6 : SHOM, Service Hydrographique et Océanographique de la Marine, 13 rue de Chatellier, CS592803, 29228 Brest, CEDEX 2, France
Source Biogeosciences (1726-4170) (Copernicus GmbH), 2021-12 , Vol. 18 , N. 24 , P. 6455-6477
DOI 10.5194/bg-18-6455-2021

Model simulations and remote sensing observations show that ocean dynamics at fine scales (1–100 km in space, day–weeks in time) strongly influence the distribution of phytoplankton. However, only few in situ samplings have been performed and most of them in boundary currents which may not be representative of less energetic regions. The PROTEVSMED-SWOT cruise took place in the moderately energetic waters of the western Mediterranean Sea, in the southern region of the Balearic Islands. Taking advantage of near-real time satellite information, a sampling strategy was defined in order to cross a frontal zone separating different water masses. Multi-parametric in situ sensors mounted on the vessel, on a towed fish and on an ocean glider were used to sample at high spatial resolution both physical and biogeochemical variables. A particular attention was put in adapting the sampling route, in order to also estimate the vertical velocities in the frontal area. Such a strategy was successful in sampling quasi-synoptically an oceanic area characterized by the presence of a narrow front with an associated vertical circulation. A multiparametric statistical analysis of the collected data identifies two water masses characterized by different abundances of several phytoplankton cytometric functional groups, as well as different contents in chlorophyll a and O2. Our study shows that the Lagrangian fronts induced by the fine-scale circulation, even if much weaker than the fronts occurring in boundary current systems, maintain a strong structuring effect on phytoplankton community by segregating different taxa at the surface.

Full Text
File Pages Size Access
Preprint 38 7 MB Open access
Publisher's official version 23 11 MB Open access
Top of the page

How to cite 

Tzortzis Roxane, Doglioli Andrea M, Barrillon Stéphanie, Petrenko Anne A, D'Ovidio Francesco, Izard Lloyd, Thyssen Melilotus, Pascual Ananda, Barcelo-Llull Barbara, Cyr Frédéric, Tedetti Marc, Bhairy Nagib, Garreau Pierre, Dumas Franck, Gregori Gérald (2021). Impact of moderately energetic fine-scale dynamics on the phytoplankton community structure in the western Mediterranean Sea. Biogeosciences, 18(24), 6455-6477. Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :