This proof-of-concept study integrates the surface currents measured by high-frequency coastal radars with plankton time-series data collected at a fixed sampling point from the Mediterranean Sea (MareChiara Long Term Ecological Research site in the Gulf of Naples) to characterize the spatial origin of phytoplankton assemblages and to scrutinize the processes ruling their dynamics. The phytoplankton community generally originated from the coastal waters whereby species succession was mainly regulated by biological factors (life-cycle processes, species-specific physiological performances and inter-specific interactions). Physical factors, e.g. the alternation between coastal and offshore waters and the horizontal mixing, were also important drivers of phytoplankton dynamics promoting diversity maintenance by i) advecting species from offshore and ii) diluting the resident coastal community so as to dampen resource stripping by dominant species and thereby increase the numerical importance of rarer species. Our observations highlight the resilience of coastal communities, which may favour their persistence over time and the prevalence of successional events over small time and space scales. Although coastal systems may act differently from one another, our findings provide a conceptual framework to address physical-biological interactions occurring in coastal basins, which can be generalised to other areas.

Disentangling physical and biological drivers of phytoplankton dynamics in a coastal system

Cianelli, Daniela
;
Uttieri, Marco;Zambianchi, Enrico;
2017-01-01

Abstract

This proof-of-concept study integrates the surface currents measured by high-frequency coastal radars with plankton time-series data collected at a fixed sampling point from the Mediterranean Sea (MareChiara Long Term Ecological Research site in the Gulf of Naples) to characterize the spatial origin of phytoplankton assemblages and to scrutinize the processes ruling their dynamics. The phytoplankton community generally originated from the coastal waters whereby species succession was mainly regulated by biological factors (life-cycle processes, species-specific physiological performances and inter-specific interactions). Physical factors, e.g. the alternation between coastal and offshore waters and the horizontal mixing, were also important drivers of phytoplankton dynamics promoting diversity maintenance by i) advecting species from offshore and ii) diluting the resident coastal community so as to dampen resource stripping by dominant species and thereby increase the numerical importance of rarer species. Our observations highlight the resilience of coastal communities, which may favour their persistence over time and the prevalence of successional events over small time and space scales. Although coastal systems may act differently from one another, our findings provide a conceptual framework to address physical-biological interactions occurring in coastal basins, which can be generalised to other areas.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11367/64287
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