Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 03 Issue 01

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Volume 03, No. 1
Pages 18 - 22


Measurement of Photosynthetic Response to Euphotic Zone Physical Forcing

Gary J. Kirkpatrick Thomas B. CurtinDaniel Kamykowski Michael D. FeezorMickey D. SartinRobert E. Reed
First Paragraph

The influence of vertical water motion on the photosynthetic response of phytoplankton entrained in the upper mixed layer of the ocean is an aspect of biological oceanography that has received considerable interest for a number of years. Thorough reviews of phytoplankton response parameters, environmental variables, and the space and time scales of interest to phytoplankton ecology can be found in Harris (1980, 1984), Richardson et al. (1983), Denman and Gargett (1983), Falkowski (1984), Legendre and Demers (1984) and Harding et al. (1987). Light, temperature and nutrients are the principal environmental variables eliciting responses that ultimately are biochemically based but are manifested in changes to phytoplankton photosynthetic rates, behavior and growth. These biological responses, resulting from physical forcing, consist of nonlinear, multivariate relations on broad time and space scales involving complications such as time delays, hysteresis and filtering, to name a few. The discipline of establishing an understanding of this complex biophysical system was termed “dynamic biological oceanography” by Legendre and Demers (1984) to emphasize the non-steady-state nature of the problem. Due to the primary position that the phytoplankton occupy in the cycle of life in the ocean and the importance of the oceans to the rest of the earth, considerable effort has been and will continue to be dedicated to investigating this system.


Kirkpatrick, G.J., T.B. Curtin, D. Kamykowski, MD. Feezor, M.D. Sartin, and R.E. Reed. 1990. Measurement of photosynthetic response to euphotic zone physical forcing. Oceanography 3(1):18–22, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.1990.16.

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