12th Oct, 2017

BloomWatch: Late Autumn bloom off S Devon/Cornwall

Left: Phytoplankton abundance – chlorophyll-a concentration estimated using satellite ocean colour. Right: Enhanced ocean colour map, where green/brown indicates phytoplankton-rich water.

VIIRS satellite data shows the usual Autumn bloom further out west between the Lizard and Brittany, but also a more defined patch up to 5 mg Chl m-3 between the Lizard and Plymouth.

Net samples at Station L4 have been dominated by phytoplankton such as diatoms (C. wailesii, Guinardia spp., Pseudo-nitzschia spp, Ceratulina pelagica), dinoflagellates (Ceratium spp) and coccolithophores (Coccolithus pelagicus). Interestingly, we’ve also found Ceratium candelabrum which is relatively rare at L4 and is more commonly associated with warm, high salinity oceanic waters. Likely blown in from the shelf with the recent storms.

Left: Coscinodiscus spp. Right: Ceratium candelabrum

 

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