Phytoplankton in wind-mixed layers

Phytoplankton are known to adapt to varying irradiance. In a wind-mixed surface layer, this photoresponse can change the integrated productivity of the water column. To explore this phenomenon, Dr. John Marra of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and I developed a new formulation for the phytoplankton photoresponse. We then incorporated this model into a wind-driven mixed-layer model.

The mixing model showed that the modelled photoresponse could increase the integrated production under certain conditions of wind forcing and diffuse attenuation of irradiance.

This work was funded in part by U.S. GLOBEC

Franks, P.J.S. and J. Marra. 1994. A simple new formulation for phytoplankton
     photoresponse and an application in a wind-driven mixed-layer model.
     Marine Ecology Progress Series 111:143-153.

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Peter J.S. Franks
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
University of California, San Diego
La Jolla, CA 92093-0218