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Deep Sea Res
Badylak, S., Phlips, E., Dix, N., Hart, J., Srifa, A., Haunert, D., et al. (2016). Phytoplankton dynamics in a subtropical tidal creek: influences of rainfall and water residence time on composition and biomass.
Mar. Freshwater Res.
Concerns about global climate change have heightened awareness of the role changing rainfall regimes play in altering plankton communities of coastal ecosystems. In this study spatial and temporal patterns of phytoplankton composition and biomass in a sub-tropical tidal creek in Florida were observed over three wet and dry seasons, which included the major storm year of 2005 and the drought year of 2006. Shifts in rainfall levels were associated with changes in phytoplankton composition and biomass, but the effects varied between the upper and lower reaches of the creek. The upper reach of the creek was fresh throughout the study period. The oligohaline to mesohaline lower creek alternated between fresh and marine species in response to shifts in salinity regimes. Blooms of the freshwater dinoflagellate Peridinium sp., small centric diatoms and nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria were common in the upper Ten Mile Creek during low rainfall years. The euryhaline marine dinoflagellate Akashiwo sanguinea and centric diatoms (e.g. Leptocylindrus minimus) were observed at bloom levels in the lower creek during low to average rainfall periods. The results are discussed within the context of how variability in rainfall influence water residence times, nutrient concentrations and salinity regimes, which in turn influence phytoplankton composition and biomass.
St Lucie Estuary
Ten Mile Creek
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Li, M., Lee, Y. J., Testa, J. M., Li, Y., Ni, W., Kemp, W. M., et al. (2016). What drives interannual variability of hypoxia in Chesapeake Bay: Climate forcing versus nutrient loading?
Geophys. Res. Lett.
Oxygen depletion in estuaries is a worldwide problem with detrimental effects on many organisms. Although nutrient loading has been stabilized for a number of these systems, seasonal hypoxia persists and displays large year-to-year variations, with larger hypoxic volumes in wetter years and smaller hypoxic volumes in drier years. Data analysis points to climate as a driver of interannual hypoxia variability, but nutrient inputs covary with freshwater flow. Here we report an oxygen budget analysis of Chesapeake Bay to quantify relative contributions of physical and biogeochemical processes. Vertical diffusive flux declines with river discharge, whereas longitudinal advective flux increases with river discharge, such that their total supply of oxygen to bottom water is relatively unchanged. However, water column respiration exhibits large interannual fluctuations and is correlated with primary production and hypoxic volume. Hence, the model results suggest that nutrient loading is the main mechanism driving interannual hypoxia variability in Chesapeake Bay.
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