TERRAPUB Journal of Oceanography

Journal of Oceanography, Vol. 62 (No. 5), pp. 717-729, 2006

Spatial Distribution of Phytoplankton in Spring 2004 along a Transect in the Eastern Part of the North Sea

Pavel kaloud1*, Magda ezáová1 and Marianne Ellegaard2

1Department of Botany, Faculty of Science, Charles University, Benátská 2, 12801, Prague 2, Czech Republic
2Department of Phycology, Institute of Biology, University of Copenhagen, Øster Farimagsgade 2D, DK-1353, Copenhagen K, Denmark

(Received 1 April 2006; in revised form 3 June 2006; accepted 5 June 2006)

Abstract: We report the results from a 250 km long transect, from the Danish coast to the North Sea at 55°30´N, which was sampled every 32 km in order to study the composition and distribution of phytoplankton, and their dependence on the distance from the coast, depth and other environmental factors. Altogether 144 species of algae were identified by light, epifluorescence and electron microscopy. Some ecological preferences were found on the basis of measured environmental parameters and compared with the literature. Possible controlling mechanisms for the distribution patterns of the plankton algae were analyzed by multivariate statistics. Only distance from the coast was found to be a significant factor for algal distribution along the transect. Three main areas of the transect were found: the coastal, middle and oceanic areas. Diatoms, mainly the centric ones, were the most abundant group of algae. The other less abundant groups were Dinophyceae, Dictyochophyceae, Prasinophyceae and Chlorophyceae. The pattern of distribution of diatoms and dinophytes along the transect was more or less similar, with larger numbers of cells found close to both the eastern and western parts of the transect, although the species composition was different. Some species were found to prefer coastal waters, other species were characterized as oceanic, and several species were found at all stations. Porosira glacialis showed an atypical distribution along the transect, with highest abundances at both coastal and oceanic stations.

*Corresponding author E-mail: skaloud@natur.cuni.cz

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