Document Type



Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Publication Date



Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science



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Last Page



Although both local processes (photosynthesis, respiration, grazing, and settling), and transport processes (advective transport and diffusive transport) significantly affect local phytoplankton dynamics, it is difficult to separate their contributions and to investigate the relative importance of each process to the local variability of phytoplankton biomass over different timescales. A method of using the transport rate is introduced to quantify the contribution of transport processes. By combining the time-varying transport rate and high-frequency observed chlorophyll a data, we can explicitly examine the impact of local and transport processes on phytoplankton biomass over a range of timescales from hourly to annually. For the Upper James River, results show that the relative importance of local and transport processes differs on different timescales. Local processes dominate phytoplankton variability on daily to weekly timescales, whereas the contribution of transport processes increases on seasonal to annual timescales and reaches equilibrium with local processes. With the use of the transport rate and high-frequency chlorophyll a data, a method similar to the open water oxygen method for metabolism is also presented to estimate phytoplankton primary production


Phytoplankton, Transport Rate, Biomass, James River - VA

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Available for download on Tuesday, September 05, 2017