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Seasonal Variability of Phytoplankton Fluorescence in Relation to the Straits of Messina (Sicily) Tidal Upwelling : Volume 3, Issue 4 (11/10/2007)

By Azzaro, F.

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Book Id: WPLBN0004020339
Format Type: PDF Article :
File Size: Pages 10
Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: Seasonal Variability of Phytoplankton Fluorescence in Relation to the Straits of Messina (Sicily) Tidal Upwelling : Volume 3, Issue 4 (11/10/2007)  
Author: Azzaro, F.
Volume: Vol. 3, Issue 4
Language: English
Subject: Science, Ocean, Science
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection (Contemporary), Copernicus GmbH
Publication Date:
Publisher: Copernicus Gmbh, Göttingen, Germany
Member Page: Copernicus Publications


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Crisafi, E., Raffa, F., Decembrini, F., & Azzaro, F. (2007). Seasonal Variability of Phytoplankton Fluorescence in Relation to the Straits of Messina (Sicily) Tidal Upwelling : Volume 3, Issue 4 (11/10/2007). Retrieved from

Description: Institute for Coastal Marine Environment, CNR, Sp. S. Raineri, 86 – 98122 Messina, Italy. In the Straits of Messina, large gradients of tidal displacements, as well as the topographic constrictions, determine the upwelling of deeper waters in the surface layer. This work describes the seasonal variability in the surface distribution of phytoplankton biomass depending on the upwelling phenomena. Temperature, salinity, nitrates and phytoplankton fluorescence were measured in 1994 and 1995 by continuous underway surface real-time measurements onboard dedicated research boats. Each survey was performed following the dynamic phases of flooding and ebbing tides. Tidal currents are essentially southward during high tide and northward during low tide.

During the low water slack tide, large spatial gradients of physical-chemical and biological parameters were found, while at the high water slack tide, a diffused phytoplankton fluorescence was observed only in autumn due to a seasonal thermocline. Salinity, nitrate and chlorophyll-a fluorescence data revealed a significant positive intercorrelation, whereas they were inversely correlated with temperature. Generally, the upwelling distribution was limited to narrow zones during winter, while in summer it was found in the middle of the Straits and in the southern zones. During spring in the southern zone of the Straits, the maximum chlorophyll-a fluorescence was detected (May 1995, 0.32 Μg-Chla l−1); in summer, when back and forth tidal movements between the Tyrrhenian and the Ionian seas intensify, decreased values were observed throughout the study area.

The data set obtained through continuous and repeatable samplings has allowed the study of different time-space scales in the Straits of Messina, a very strong and dynamic environment.

The Straits system could be compared to an intermittent pump which, during the different seasons, initially enriches itself and subsequently provides nutrients to the surrounding basins.

Seasonal variability of phytoplankton fluorescence in relation to the Straits of Messina (Sicily) tidal upwelling

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