Time filter

Source Type

Morel A.,University Pierre and Marie Curie | Claustre H.,University Pierre and Marie Curie | Gentili B.,CNRS Oceanography Laboratory of Villefranche
Biogeosciences | Year: 2010

The cores of the subtropical anticyclonic gyres are characterized by their oligotrophic status and minimal chlorophyll concentration, compared to that of the whole ocean. These zones are unambiguously detected by space borne ocean color sensors thanks to their typical spectral reflectance, which is that of extremely clear and deep blue waters. Not only the low chlorophyll (denoted [Chl]) level, but also a reduced amount of colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM or "yellow substance") account for this clarity. The oligotrophic waters of the North and South Pacific gyres, the North and South Atlantic gyres, and the South Indian gyre have been comparatively studied with respect to both [Chl] and CDOM contents, by using 10-year data (1998-2007) of the Sea-viewing Wide field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS, NASA). Albeit similar these oligotrophic zones are not identical regarding their [Chl] and CDOM contents, as well as their seasonal cycles. According to the zone, the averaged [Chl] value varies from 0.026 to 0.059 mg mg 3, whereas the I (443) average (the absorption coefficient due to CDOM at 443 nm) is between 0.0033 and 0.0072 mg 1. The CDOM-to-[Chl] relative proportions also differ between the zones. The clearest waters, corresponding to the lowest [Chl] and CDOM concentrations, are found near Easter Island and near Mariana Islands in the western part of the North Pacific Ocean. In spite of its low [Chl], the Sargasso Sea presents the highest CDOM content amongst the six zones studied. Except in the North Pacific gyre (near Mariana and south of Hawaii islands), a conspicuous seasonality appears to be the rule in the other 4 gyres and affects both [Chl] and CDOM; both quantities vary in a ratio of about 2 (maximum-to-minimum). Coinciding [Chl] and CDOM peaks occur just after the local winter solstice, which is also the period of the maximal mixed layer depth in these latitudes. It is hypothesized that the vertical transport of unbleached CDOM from the subthermocline layers is the main process enhancing the CDOM concentration within the upper layer in winter. In summer, the CDOM experiences its minimum which is delayed with respect to the [Chl] minimum; apparently, the solar photo-bleaching of CDOM is a slower process than the post-bloom algal Chl decay. Where they exist, the seasonal cycles are repeated without notable change from year to year. Long term (10 y) trends have not been detected in these zones. These oligotrophic gyres can conveniently be used for in-flight calibration and comparison of ocean color sensors, provided that their marked seasonal variations are accounted for. © Author(s) 2010.


Marty J.C.,CNRS Oceanography Laboratory of Villefranche | Chiaverini J.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Chiaverini J.,University Pierre and Marie Curie
Biogeosciences | Year: 2010

Data obtained during the monthly cruises of the DYFAMED time-series study (northwestern Mediterranean Sea) in the period 1995-2007 were compiled to examine the hydrological changes and the linked variation of some biogeochemical characteristics (nutrients and pigments). A regular increase of temperature and salinity (0.005 °Cy-1, 0.0022 psu y-1) was recorded in deep waters of the NW Mediterranean Sea (2000 m depth) during 1995g-2005. In February 2006 an abrupt increase in T (+0.1 °C) and S (+0.03 psu) was measured at 2000 m depth as the result of successive intense winter mixing events during the 3 previous years. The February 2006 event led to the mixing of the whole water column (0 to >2000 m) and increased salt and heat content of the Western Mediterranean Deep Water by mixing with saltier and warmer Levantine Intermediate Water. The deficit in fresh water inputs to the western Mediterranean basin in three successive years (2003g-2005) was suspected to be the major cause of this event since an increase of salinity in surface waters was monitored during these years. The measured phytoplankton biomass was specifically high after the periods of intense mixing. Chlorophyll a integrated biomass reached 230 mgm-2 in 1999, 175 mg m-2 in 2003, and 206 mg m-2 in 2006. The high levels of biomass were related to the particularly high increases in nutrients content in surface layers following the intense water column mixing and the subsequent development of a diatom bloom (as seen by fucoxanthin content). The occurrence of extreme events (high mixing, high nutrients, and high biomass) increased in recent drought years (2003 to 2006). Our results indicated that the NW Mediterranean Sea productivity is increasing. © 2010 Author(s).


Dolan J.R.,CNRS Oceanography Laboratory of Villefranche | Landry M.R.,University of California at San Diego | Ritchie M.E.,Syracuse University
ISME Journal | Year: 2013

Many microbial taxa in the marine plankton appear super-saturated in species richness. Here, we provide a partial explanation by analyzing how species are organized, species packing, in terms of both taxonomy and morphology. We focused on a well-studied group, tintinnid ciliates of the microzooplankton, in which feeding ecology is closely linked to morphology. Populations in three distinct systems were examined: an Eastern Mediterranean Gyre, a Western Mediterranean Gyre and the California Current. We found that species abundance distributions exhibited the long-tailed, log distributions typical of most natural assemblages of microbial and other organisms. In contrast, grouping in oral size-classes, which corresponds with prey-size exploited, revealed a geometric distribution consistent with a dominant role of a single resource in structuring an assemblage. The number of species found in a particular oral size-class increases with the numerical importance of the size-class in the overall population. We suggest that high species diversity reflects the fact that accompanying each dominant species are many ecologically similar species, presumably able to replace the dominant species, at least with regard to the size of prey exploited. Such redundancy suggests that species diversity greatly exceeds ecological diversity in the plankton. © 2013 International Society for Microbial Ecology.


Moutin T.,Aix - Marseille University | Prieur L.,CNRS Oceanography Laboratory of Villefranche
Biogeosciences | Year: 2012

We studied a longitudinal transect in the Mediterranean Sea (MS) and along this transect, the influence of anticyclonic eddies at three long duration (LD) stations. The deep chlorophyll maximum depth, the euphotic layer depth and the top of the nitracline depth are clearly correlated outside of the eddies, and deepen from the oligotrophic western to the ultraoligotrophic eastern MS. We provide evidence that the locations of the three LD stations studied were near the axis of the eddies. Their diameters were close to 100 km and the studied areas were less than 10 km from the centre of the eddies. The positions of the LD stations are marked by an increase in the flux function and a decrease in apparent oxygen utilization (AOU) and in excess density σ), as expected for anticyclonic eddies. Integrated mean primary production measured in situ inside the three studied eddies confirms the previous conclusion that integrated primary production (IPP) about 150 mgC mg-2 dg -1 may appear as a lower limit for IPP during strong oligotrophic conditions. The mesoscale activity is strong enough to locally modify the very well-documented western-to-eastern gradient of trophic conditions in the MS. We proposed a new calculation for mixed layer depths (MLDs) enabling the determination of MLD to take into consideration processes occurring with time scales ranging from a few hours to several days, and also the winter MLD. Studying the main physical, chemical and dynamical characteristics of the three eddies enables us to consider that the vorticity barrier prevents any strong mixing and advection of outer water inside the eddy and explains why the depth range of eddies starts from the surface. As a first approximation, the anticyclonic eddies could be considered as closed systems dating back to the previous winter, making possible to draw first-order budgets. The daily new N-input in the photic zone is virtually identical to the N-export measured at 230 m by drifting traps. This means that the eddies are close to an equilibrium state where input is equal to loss. The annual N-input by winter convection, which is a fundamental criterion for new nutrient availability, may be extremely variable inside eddies, with W-MLD varying from 90.5 m at the western station to 396.5 m at the eastern station. W-MLDs are always deeper inside the eddies than outside where they are in keeping with climatological averages. AOU was low inside the eddies; this together with the near-identical export measured at 230 and 460 m seems to indicate that eddy cores are areas where low mineralisation of particulate organic matter occurs. "In" and "out" AOU comparisons indicate lower mineralisation inside the eddies suggesting a higher efficiency for CO2 sequestration via sedimentation of particulate organic matter. The three eddies are enriched in dissolved organic carbon (DOC). Sequestration of CO2 by vertical export of accumulated DOC therefore seems to be higher inside eddies. The relative importance of DOC transport in the biological pump is probably one of the main characteristics of low-P low chlorophyll (LPLC) areas, and it is likely to be reinforced inside anticyclonic eddies. The numerous anticyclonic eddies in the MS are likely to influence the water masses and their dispersion, and therefore have a strong impact on the biogeochemical properties at the scale of the MS. © Author(s) 2012.


Uitz J.,University of California at San Diego | Claustre H.,CNRS Oceanography Laboratory of Villefranche | Gentili B.,CNRS Oceanography Laboratory of Villefranche | Stramski D.,University of California at San Diego
Global Biogeochemical Cycles | Year: 2010

We apply an innovative approach to time series data of surface chlorophyll from satellite observations with SeaWiFS (Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor) to estimate the primary production associated with three major phytoplankton classes (micro-, nano-, and picophytoplankton) within the world's oceans. Statistical relationships, determined from an extensive in situ database of phytoplankton pigments, are used to infer class-specific vertical profiles of chlorophyll a concentration from satellite-derived surface chlorophyll a. This information is combined with a primary production model and class-specific photophysiological parameters to compute global seasonal fields of class-specific primary production over a 10-year period from January 1998 through December 2007. Microphytoplankton (mostly diatoms) appear as a major contributor to total primary production in coastal upwelling systems (70%) and temperate and subpolar regions (50%) during the spring-summer season. The contribution of picophytoplankton (e.g., prokaryotes) reaches maximum values (45%) in subtropical oligotrophic gyres. Nanophytoplankton (e.g., prymnesiophytes) provide a ubiquitous, substantial contribution (30-60%). Annual global estimates of class-specific primary production amount to 15 Gt C yr -1 (32% of total), 20 Gt C yr -1 (44%) and 11 Gt C yr -1 (24%) for micro-, nano-, and picophytoplankton, respectively. The analysis of interannual variations revealed large anomalies in class-specific primary production as compared to the 10-year mean cycle in both the productive North Atlantic basin and the more stable equatorial Pacific upwelling. Microphytoplankton show the largest range of variability of the three phytoplankton classes on seasonal and interannual time scales. Our results contribute to an understanding and quantification of carbon cycle in the ocean. Copyright 2010 by the American Geophysical Union.


Dolan J.R.,CNRS Oceanography Laboratory of Villefranche | Stoeck T.,University of Kaiserslautern
Environmental Microbiology Reports | Year: 2011

Diversity metrics and descriptors of protistan community structure were calculated from 12 samples of 10l each collected from the Bay of Villefranche in the NW Mediterranean Sea. Variability of the sampling was on scales of minutes and meters. The individual samples were compared with each other and compared with a pooled data set from the total volume of 120l, considered as the 'true' community. We focused on a single group of planktonic protists, tintinnids, a coherent functional and phylogenetic group in which morpho-species identifications by light microscopy are unambiguous. Tintinnid abundance in the samples ranged from 217 to 321 cells of 16-21 species with the number of rare species in a sample (<1% of abundance) positively related to species richness of the sample. Rarefaction estimates of total species richness in the 12 samples ranged from 21±3.5 to 37±3.6 compared with the 34 species of the pooled data set. The measures of similarity reflected the differences between samples in both the numbers and identities of the least abundant or rare species. The species abundance distribution using pooled data was best fit by a log-series or geometric distribution; eight species accounted for about 90% of total cells and most species, the remaining 22 out of 34, were 'rare' (concentration<1% of total cells). Among the samples, 5 were best fit by a geometric model, 1 by a log-series distribution, 2 by a log-normal or log-series model, and 4 could not be clearly assigned a particular distribution. Our results suggest that single sample estimates of species richness are relatively robust compared with measures of taxonomic similarity and species abundance distribution. When measuring differences among populations sample variability should be considered. © 2011 Society for Applied Microbiology and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


Muller M.N.,Leibniz Institute of Marine Science | Muller M.N.,CNRS Oceanography Laboratory of Villefranche | Schulz K.G.,Leibniz Institute of Marine Science | Riebesell U.,Leibniz Institute of Marine Science
Biogeosciences | Year: 2010

The physiological performance of two coccolithophore species, Emiliania huxleyi and Coccolithus braarudii, was investigated during long-term exposure to elevated pCO2 levels. Mono-specific cultures were grown over 152 (E. huxleyi) and 65 (C. braarudii) generations while pCO2 was gradually increased to maximum levels of 1150 μatm (E. huxleyi) and 930 μatm (C. braarudii) and kept constant thereafter. Rates of cell growth and cell quotas of particulate organic carbon (POC), particulate inorganic carbon (PIC) and total particulate nitrogen (TPN) were determined repeatedly throughout the incubation period. Increasing pCO2 caused a decrease in cell growth rate of 9% and 29% in E. huxleyi and C. braarudii, respectively. In both species cellular PIC:TPN and PIC:POC ratios decreased in response to rising pCO2, whereas no change was observed in the POC:TPN ratios of E. huxleyi and C. braarudii. These results are consistent with those obtained in shorter-term high CO2 exposure experiments following abrupt pertubations of the seawater carbonate system and indicate that for the strains tested here a gradual CO2 increase does not alleviate CO2/pH sensitivity.


Bernard O.,French Institute for Research in Computer Science and Automation | Bernard O.,CNRS Oceanography Laboratory of Villefranche
Journal of Process Control | Year: 2011

Oleaginous microalgae are considered to be a potential major biofuel producer in the future since, under conditions of nitrogen deprivation, they are capable of containing high amounts of lipids, while consuming industrial CO 2. These photosynthetic microorganisms are, however, rather different from the microorganisms usually used in biotechnology. In particular, predicting the behaviour of microalgal based processes is delicate because of the strong interaction between biology (microalgal development and respiration), and physics (light attenuation and hydrodynamics). This paper reviews existing models, and in particular the Droop model which has been widely used to predict microalgal behaviour under nutrient limitation. It details a model for raceways or planar photobioreactors, when both light and nutrients are limiting. The challenges and hurdles to improve microalgal culture process modelling and control in order to optimise biomass or biofuel production are then discussed. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Dolan J.R.,CNRS Oceanography Laboratory of Villefranche
Journal of Plankton Research | Year: 2016

The view that current species inventories (lists of binomial species) of planktonic protists significantly underestimate true diversity is widespread. However, the existence of synonyms in species lists, due to repeated descriptions of the same form, and polymorphism in which different "forms" or life-history stages are but one species, are generally underappreciated. Recent studies have shown that synonyms are probably common, significantly inflating species lists, and taxa previously thought to be distinct species based on morphology have been revealed to be simple variants of single species. Given here are examples from among tintinnid ciliates, dinoflagellates and foraminifera. The commonality of synonyms and the phenomena of both polymorphism and crypticism underscore a need for taxonomic reviews as well as speciesfocused studies involving molecular biologists, taxonomists and ecologists. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.


Doble M.J.,CNRS Oceanography Laboratory of Villefranche | Bidlot J.-R.,European Center for Medium Range Weather Forecasts
Ocean Modelling | Year: 2013

The breakup of pack ice in the Weddell Sea is examined with respect to a single wave buoy, frozen into the pack ice six months earlier, and the ECMWF WAM model. The pack ice broke up around the buoy on 14th September 2000 as large amplitude storm waves approached the ice edge at the buoy's location. The WAM model is modified to allow waves to propagate into the ice cover, in contrast to the operational scheme which sets wave energy to zero at ice concentrations over 30%. A simple, lookup-table-based, wave scattering attenuation scheme is then added and is combined with a sea ice drag attenuation parameterisation. WAM results at the location of the buoy are compared to the observations over a two-month period straddling the breakup. The modified WAM scheme generally reproduces the significant wave height, wave period and spectral characteristics measured by the buoy, though the model does not yet have any concept of floe breaking and re-freezing, assuming only that the ice cover is broken if the concentration is less than 80%. The simplistic nature of these modifications is designed to allow operational implementation, to eventually provide a global assessment of the wave-influenced ice zone. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Loading CNRS Oceanography Laboratory of Villefranche collaborators
Loading CNRS Oceanography Laboratory of Villefranche collaborators