Does the benthos control phytoplankton biomass in South San Francisco Bay?

Marine Ecology Progress Series



South San Francisco Bay, USA, is a shallow coastal embayment that receives large inputs of nutrients (N. P, Si) and small local inputs of freshwater. Phytoplankton dynamics are typically characterized by a spring bloom when surface chlorophyll a increases from < 5 to > 40 mg m-3. The bloom persists for 2 to 4 wk, and then dissipates. Phytoplankton biomass remains low (chlorophyll a < 5 mg m-3) from May through December, although light and nutrient availability are sufficient to sustain growth rates of 1 to 1.5 divisions d-1 in the expansive shallows. Transport processes apparently exert a small influence on phytoplankton biomass, and calculated zooplankton grazing accounts for only a small reduction in net rate of phytoplankton population growth in the shallows. However, suspension-feeding bivalves are sufficiently abundant to filter a volume equivalent to the volume of South Bay at least once daily. These observations suggest that grazing by benthos is the primary mechanism controlling phytoplankton biomass during summer and fall.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Does the benthos control phytoplankton biomass in South San Francisco Bay?
Series title Marine Ecology Progress Series
Volume 9
Year Published 1982
Language English
Publisher Inter-Research
Contributing office(s) San Francisco Bay-Delta, Pacific Regional Director's Office
Description 12 p.
First page 191
Last page 202
Time Range Start 1980-01-01
Time Range End 1980-12-31
Country United States
State California
Other Geospatial San Francisco Bay
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N