Blooms of Noctiluca miliaris in the Arabian Sea - An In Situ and Satellite Study

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Marine Science


Phytoplankton cell density, chlorophyll a (chl a) concentration and pigment data collected during a series of five cruises in the northern Arabian Sea in the Northeast Monsoon (NEM, Nov-Jan) and the Spring Intermonsoon (SIM, Mar-May) since 2003 contradicted the established notion that winter blooms mainly consist of diatom communities. Recent data show that following the NEM and well into the SIM, phytoplankton populations are dominated by the dinoflagellate Noctiluca miliaris Suriray (synonym Noctiluca scintillans Macartney). In the SIM they were often in association with the well-known blooms of the diazotroph Trichodesmium sp. Large blooms of N. miliaris have also begun making their appearance annually in the Gulf of Oman and off the coast of Oman. This study uses NASA's recently developed product of merged SeaWiFS and Aqua-MODIS chl a data to investigate the temporal evolution and spatial extent of these taxonomically validated blooms. Satellite chl a in relation to Aqua-MODIS SST and altimetry data suggest that mesoscale eddies that populate the western Arabian Sea during the NEM contribute to the genesis and dispersal of these blooms from the Gulf of Oman into the central Arabian Sea. (c) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Deep-Sea Research Part I-Oceanographic Research Papers





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