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Article << Previous     |         Contents Vol 64(2)

Chlorophyll a and nutrient distribution around seamounts and islands of the tropical south-western Atlantic

Christiane Sampaio de Souza A D , Joana Angélica Guimarães da Luz B , Silvio Macedo C , Manuel de Jesus Flores Montes C and Paulo Mafalda Jr A

A Universidade Federal da Bahia, Instituto de Biologia, 40210-020, Salvador, Bahia, Brasil.
B Universidade Federal da Bahia, Instituto de Ciências Ambientais e Desenvolvimento Sustentável, 47805-100, Barreiras, Bahia, Brasil.
C Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Departamento de Oceanografia, 50670-901, Recife, PE, Brasil.
D Corresponding author. Email: chsampaio@ig.com.br

Marine and Freshwater Research 64(2) 168-184 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/MF12075
Submitted: 13 March 2012  Accepted: 3 December 2012   Published: 25 February 2013

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Data collected on two large-scale surveys around the seamounts and islands off north-eastern Brazil during 1997 and 1998 provided information on the distribution of Chlorophyll a and inorganic nutrients. During both surveys, the concentrations of Chlorophyll a and nutrients were highly patchy. The highest measurement of Chlorophyll a was 3.91 µg L–1 during 1997. A wide range of nutrient concentrations were found, from undetectable values to a maximum of 17.52 µm L–1 (Si), 1.37 µm L–1 (PO4), 10.02 µm L–1 (NO3) and 0.72 µm L–1 (NO2). In 1998, concentrations of Chlorophyll a and nutrients (nitrite and nitrate) were far more uniform, with Chlorophyll a concentrations lower and phosphate concentrations generally higher than in 1997. Topography–flow interaction on thermohaline structures was observed around Saint Peter and Saint Paul Archipelago and in the Fernando de Noronha Chain, creating a patchy pattern around the island and seamounts. Nutrients exhibited an inverse linear relationship with temperature and salinity and an exponential decay relationship with Chlorophyll a.

Additional keywords: hydrological process, north-eastern Brazil, primary production, uplifting, variability.


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