Modeled inherent scattering properties of small light-limited phytoplankton: Implications for deep phytoplankton size class distributions


Journal Article

Small phytoplankton (<2μm), ubiquitous throughout the world's oceans, numerically dominate many open ocean ecosystems with increasing importance towards the base of the euphotic zone. As an example, light-limited deep secondary chlorophyll maxima are usually dominated by small phytoplankton species. Theoretical models describing light-particle interactions predict that small particles scatter light less efficiently than their larger counterparts. To investigate a possible relationship between the dominance of small phytoplankton in light-limited situations and efficiency predictions, a light scattering efficiency model based on Mie theory as approximated by Van de Hulst is used to determine scattering efficiency as a function of size. This scattering efficiency model, which approximates light-phytoplankton interactions by considering phytoplankton as homogeneous spheres, is driven by the spectral light field from an observed deep (∼135m) phytoplankton population dominated by small phytoplankton. This deep secondary chlorophyll maximum is discussed as an example of a highly efficient small phytoplankton population at the threshold of the euphotic zone which could benefit as a result of its size distribution. ©2005 Copyright SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Johnson, Z

Published Date

  • December 1, 1997

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 2963 /

Start / End Page

  • 862 - 867

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0277-786X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1117/12.266416

Citation Source

  • Scopus