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Water Res. 2010 Apr;44(8):2461-72. doi: 10.1016/j.watres.2010.01.012. Epub 2010 Jan 29.

Spectral fluorometric characterization of phytoplankton community composition using the Algae Online Analyser.

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  • 1Marine Science Program, Department of Biological Sciences, University of South Carolina, 715 Sumter St., Columbia, SC 29208, USA.


The utility of a multiple-fixed-wavelength spectral fluorometer, the Algae Online Analyser (AOA), as a means of quantifying phytoplankton biomass and community composition was tested using natural communities from two southeastern United States estuaries, North Inlet, South Carolina, and the Neuse River Estuary, North Carolina. Estimates of biomass (as chlorophyll a) were correlated with HPLC values and variations (usually over-estimates) were consistent with effects of light intensity and nutrient availability on fluorescence quenching. AOA estimates of taxonomic structure were consistent with those from HPLC-derived marker pigments by ChemTax, with both methods indicating domination by chromophytes and green algae in North Inlet and chromophytes and cyanobacteria in the Neuse. We recommend frequent calibration by discrete sample collection, and calibration with species representative of the region of interest. Overall, the AOA appears to be a useful tool for monitoring of phytoplankton community composition, especially as an early warning system for the detection of harmful algal blooms.

Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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