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FEMS Microbiol Ecol. 2005 Apr 1;52(2):243-53. Epub 2005 Jan 1.

On-board flow cytometric observation of picoplankton community structure in the East China Sea during the fall of different years.

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State Key Laboratory of Estuarine and Coastal Research, East China Normal University, 3663 Zhongshan Road North, Shanghai 200062, PR China.


On-board flow cytometric determinations of picoplankton abundance (i.e. Synechococcus spp., Prochlorococcus spp., picoeukaryotes and also heterotrophic bacteria) were obtained in the East China Sea in fall of 2000 and 2003. The average abundances of Synechococcus, Prochlorococcus, picoeukaryotes and heterotrophic bacteria were 10(5), 10(5), 10(4) and 10(6) cells ml(-1), respectively. Synechococcus, picoeukaryotes and heterotrophic bacteria were abundant at all the stations and presented higher concentration in the inner shelf where influences from the Changjiang effluent plumes and the coastal upwelling were evident, while Prochlorococcus was absent from the near-shore stations and became the dominant picophytoplankton population in offshore waters, where its abundance was comparable to that for heterotrophic bacteria. All picoplankton groups showed a reduction in cell number with depth, and a positive correlation with water temperature were observed, which reflected the importance of light and temperature on picoplankton growth. A negative relationship with salinity was found for heterotrophic bacteria along two sections across the East China Sea Shelf, and distribution of picoplankton was dominated by different water masses. The fixation could lead to loss in Prochlorococcus cell numbers within one month, and all the picoplankton numbers decreased dramatically after three months.

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