Coupled physical and phytoplankton dynamics in coastal Antarctica
Title: Coupled physical and phytoplankton dynamics in coastal Antarctica
Abstract: The biophysical processes regulating primary productivity and biomass of phytoplankton in Antarctic coastal seas are both highly variable in time and space. Multi-platform observations were integrated to understand the physical drivers of phytoplankton in coastal waters of Antarctica, with a greater focus in the West Antarctic Peninsula (WAP). A combination of incubation experiments and high-resolution glider dataset, including the first ever integration of a Fluorescence Induction and Relaxation (FIRe) sensor, were used to characterize the dynamics of the spring phytoplankton bloom in submarine canyons in the WAP. The concurrent high-resolution, vertically-resolved and autonomous measurements of physiological variables together with physical oceanographic data showed how photosynthetic processes are affected by environmental factors, in particular water column stability.