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Regional to global assessments of phytoplankton dynamics from the SeaWiFS mission

  • Siegel, D.
  • Behrenfeld, M.
  • Maritorena, S.
  • McClain, C.
  • Antoine, David
  • Bailey, S.
  • Bontempi, P.
  • Boss, E.
  • Dierssen, H.
  • Doney, S.
  • Eplee, R.
  • Evans, R.
  • Feldman, G.
  • Fields, E.
  • Franz, B.
  • Kuring, N.
  • Mengelt, C.
  • Nelson, N.
  • Patt, F.
  • Robinson, W.
  • And 6 more
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2013
[email protected]


First, we show that observed long-term, global-scale trends in standard chlorophyll retrievals are likely compromised by coincident changes in CDM. Second, we partition the chlorophyll signal into a component due to phytoplankton biomass changes and a component caused by physiological adjustments in intracellular chlorophyll concentrations to changes in mixed layer light levels. We show that biomass changes dominate chlorophyll signals for the high latitude seas and where persistent vertical upwelling is known to occur, while physiological processes dominate chlorophyll variability over much of the tropical and subtropical oceans. The SeaWiFS data set demonstrates complexity in the interpretation of changes in regional to global phytoplankton distributions and illustrates limitations for the assessment of phytoplankton dynamics using chlorophyll retrievals alone.

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