The annual cycle of primary productivity in a tropical estuary: The inner regions of the Golfo de Nicoya, Costa Rica.

Gocke, Klaus, Cortes, J. and Murillo, M. M. (2001) The annual cycle of primary productivity in a tropical estuary: The inner regions of the Golfo de Nicoya, Costa Rica. Revista De Biologia Tropical, 49 (Suppl. 2). pp. 289-306.

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A one year cycle of primary productivity (PP) was studied using the "light and dark bottle" technique in the Golfo de Nicoya, located at 10 degrees N and 85 degrees W at the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. Samples were always incubated at 0, 1, 2, 3 and 4 m depth for 5 hrs from 8:30 till 13:30. The measurements were performed twice per month, first around high tide and one week later at low tide to account for tidal influences. This routine study was supplemented by special measurements about regional and short-term variations of primary productivity using the 14C-method, which mainly served to account for the shortcomings of the routinely employed incubation technique. The upper Golfo de Nicoya is an extremely productive, phytoplankton dominated estuarine system with an annual gross PP of 1037, a net PP of 610 and a community respiration of 427 g C m(-2) a(-1). Highest monthly PP values occurred during the dry season and at the beginning of the rainy season. Peaks in primary productivity coincided with massive blooms of red tide forming algae. Internal biological dynamics, estuarine circulation and land run-off are the most important nutrient sources. High water turbidity reduces the euphotic layer to 4-5 m depth, making the underwater light regime the rate limiting factor. On an annual basis, 41% of the organic carbon produced in the system is already consumed in the euphotic layer. Considering the entire water column (mean depth at mean tidal water level is around 7.7 m) 79% is consumed in the pelagial. Taking into account the organic material consumed and stored in the sediments the carbon budget of the upper gulf is probably balanced. Since, however, the system receives a considerable amount of organic material from its terrestrial surroundings (especially from the mangrove forests), a surplus of organic carbon is exported from the upper Golfo de Nicoya, which enhances the overall water productivity of the lower gulf and the adjacent area.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Golfo de Nicoya, Costa Rica, primary productivity
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-MI Marine Microbiology
Refereed: No
ISSN: 0034-7744
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2008 17:25
Last Modified: 14 Sep 2016 07:22

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