Fluorescence assessment of the maximum quantum efficiency of photosynthesis in the western North Atlantic

Richard J. Geider, Richard M. Greene, Zbigniew Kolber, Hugh L. MacIntyre, Paul G. Falkowski

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The maximum quantum efficiency (øII) of phytoplankton photosystem II photochemistry was assessed using a pump and probe fluorometer on an offshore-onshore transect from the oligotrophic blue waters of the western Sargasso Sea to the eutrophic waters of lower Delaware Bay. Low values of the ratio of variable to maximum fluorescence (Fv/Fm) of dark adapted samples provided evidence for reduced quantum efficiences surface waters (z = 10 m) of the Sargasso Sea. In contrast, higher values of Fv/Fm in estuarine samples indicated near maximal øII in lower Delaware Bay, with intermediate values of Fv/Fm observed over the continental shelf. Variations of Fv/Fm in surface samples (5 or 10 m depth)_were associated with changes in hydrographic features that were consistent with the hypothesis that reduced values of øII in Sargasso Sea surface waters were due to nutrient limitation of phytoplankton photosynthetic energy conversion. In contrast, Fv/Fm of samples collected from the chlorophyll maximum layer were independent of distance from shore and water mass characteristics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1205-1224
Number of pages20
JournalDeep-Sea Research Part I
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1993
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science

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