Primary production, respiration and stratification in the ocean.

Platt, Trevor, Woods, John D., Sathyendranath, Shubha and Barkmann, Wolfgang (1994) Primary production, respiration and stratification in the ocean. In: The Polar Oceans and Their Role in Shaping the Global Environment. , ed. by Johannessen, O. M., Muench, R. D. and Overland, J. E.. Geophysical Monograph Series, 85 . AGU (American Geological Union), pp. 247-254. DOI 10.1029/GM085p0247.

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The current status of the Sverdrup theory for the initiation of plankton blooms is examined. A prescription is given for the computation of the Sverdrup critical depth, using recently-published algorithms for mixed-layer primary production and a generalised loss term. Using no further information, the intrinsic rate of increase of phytoplankton biomass in the mixed layer can also be found. This rate, compared against the local frequency of storm occurrence, provides an alternative criterion for the initiation of blooms. The Eulerian (bulk property) methods used to derive these results are contrasted with the Lagrangian Ensemble method. The Lagrangian approach provides one avenue to the elaboration of the Sverdrup criterion to include the effect of processes with characteristic timescales small compared to one day. The incidence of blooms in the apparent absence of vertical stratification is reviewed: it is concluded that these observations do not undermine the basic logic of the Sverdrup theory. However, they do provoke interest in a re-examination of the feedbacks between the physical and biological dynamics in the mixed layer: an example is given. Finally, suggestions are made for further work in this subject area.

Document Type: Book chapter
DOI etc.: 10.1029/GM085p0247
Date Deposited: 12 Jul 2012 08:24
Last Modified: 12 Jul 2012 08:24

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