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Auteur Fouilland, E.; Mostajir, B.; Levasseur, M.; Roy, S.; Vidussi, F.; de Mora, S.; Demers, S.
Titre Effect of mixing on the structure of a natural plankton community: a mesocosm study Type Article scientifique
Année 2016 Publication Revue Abrégée Vie et Milieu
Volume 66 Numéro 3-4 Pages 251-259
Mots-Clés Accumulation; Composition; nitrogen; Phytoplankton Biomass; Phytoplankton Species; Structure Of The Pelagic Food Web; Transport Rates; turbulence; Vertical Mixing
Résumé A plankton community (< 202 μm) from the St. Lawrence Estuary was isolated

in four outdoor mesocosms with SLOW and fast mixing regimes. Variations in the concentrations

of nutrients, chlorophyll a (Chl a), nitrogen transport rates and plankton species composition

were monitored over a 10 day period. The vertical mixing times (Tm) for the slow and

fast mixing regimes were 180 and 60 min, corresponding to a vertical eddy diffusivity (Kv) of

2.34 and 7.03 cm2 s–1, respectively. The different mixing regimes had a strong effect on the

physiology of the phytoplankton and the specific structure of the plankton assemblage. The

Slow mixing regime stimulated the development of a mixed community of flagellates, small

diatoms and proto-metazooplankton while the fast mixing regime triggered the development

of a large diatom-dominated community with lower abundances of proto-metazooplankton. At

the end of the 10 day experiment, the Chl a concentrations were 50 % higher in the mesocosms

with the fast mixing regime than in those with the slow mixing regime. These results indicate

that, under low nutrient conditions, higher turbulence gives a competitive advantage to diatoms

and decreases the zooplankton grazing pressure, resulting in net positive growth. Extrapolation

of these results to natural systems suggests that a wind-driven mixing event may increase

the net phytoplankton biomass production of a stratified water column, even if there is no external

input of nutrients.
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