Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10553/50871
Title: Differences in biomass structure between oligotrophic and eutrophic marine ecosystems
Authors: Dortch, Quay
Packard, Theodore T. 
UNESCO Clasification: 251001 Oceanografía biológica
Issue Date: 1989
Publisher: 0198-0149
Journal: Deep-Sea Research, Part A: Oceanographic Research Papers 
Abstract: A normal trophic pyramid, with most living biomass comprised of plants, is widely assumed to represent marine ecosystems. Oligotrophic and eutrophic environments differ markedly in phytoplankton biomass, but, due to difficulties sampling and quantifying the small, non-plant organisms, it has been difficult to determine the relative plant and non-plant biomass. In eutrophic areas the chlorophyll α/protein ratio (Chl/Pr) of particulate matter, a relative index of phytoplankton to total biomass, approaches that of pure phytoplankton cultures, suggesting that plants constitute most of the biomass. In contrast, in oligotrophic areas the Chl/Pr ratio is low, indicating that most of the biomass consists of bacteria and zooplankton and that an inverted biomass pyramid better describes the system. Thus, ecosystem structure must be fundamentally different between eutrophic and oligotrophic areas.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10553/50871
ISSN: 0198-0149
DOI: 10.1016/0198-0149(89)90135-0
Source: Deep Sea Research Part A, Oceanographic Research Papers [ISSN 0198-0149], v. 36, p. 223-240
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