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Open AccessArticle

The Influence of Temperature and Community Structure on Light Absorption by Phytoplankton in the North Atlantic

1
College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter, Penryn Campus, Cornwall TR10 9FE, UK
2
Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Plymouth, Devon PL1 3DH, UK
3
National Centre for Earth Observation, Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Plymouth, Devon PL1 3DH, UK
4
Met Office, Exeter, Devon EX1 3PB, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2019, 19(19), 4182; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19194182
Received: 17 July 2019 / Revised: 2 September 2019 / Accepted: 21 September 2019 / Published: 26 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Ocean Colour: Theory and Applications)
We present a model that estimates the spectral phytoplankton absorption coefficient ( a p h ( λ ) ) of four phytoplankton groups (picophytoplankton, nanophytoplankton, dinoflagellates, and diatoms) as a function of the total chlorophyll-a concentration (C) and sea surface temperature (SST). Concurrent data on a p h ( λ ) (at 12 visible wavelengths), C and SST, from the surface layer (<20 m depth) of the North Atlantic Ocean, were partitioned into training and independent validation data, the validation data being matched with satellite ocean-colour observations. Model parameters (the chlorophyll-specific phytoplankton absorption coefficients of the four groups) were tuned using the training data and found to compare favourably (in magnitude and shape) with results of earlier studies. Using the independent validation data, the new model was found to retrieve total a p h ( λ ) with a similar performance to two earlier models, using either in situ or satellite data as input. Although more complex, the new model has the advantage of being able to determine a p h ( λ ) for four phytoplankton groups and of incorporating the influence of SST on the composition of the four groups. We integrate the new four-population absorption model into a simple model of ocean colour, to illustrate the influence of changes in SST on phytoplankton community structure, and consequently, the blue-to-green ratio of remote-sensing reflectance. We also present a method of propagating error through the model and illustrate the technique by mapping errors in group-specific a p h ( λ ) using a satellite image. We envisage the model will be useful for ecosystem model validation and assimilation exercises and for investigating the influence of temperature change on ocean colour. View Full-Text
Keywords: phytoplankton absorption; community structure; temperature; North Atlantic phytoplankton absorption; community structure; temperature; North Atlantic
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MDPI and ACS Style

Brewin, R.J.W.; Ciavatta, S.; Sathyendranath, S.; Skákala, J.; Bruggeman, J.; Ford, D.; Platt, T. The Influence of Temperature and Community Structure on Light Absorption by Phytoplankton in the North Atlantic. Sensors 2019, 19, 4182. https://doi.org/10.3390/s19194182

AMA Style

Brewin RJW, Ciavatta S, Sathyendranath S, Skákala J, Bruggeman J, Ford D, Platt T. The Influence of Temperature and Community Structure on Light Absorption by Phytoplankton in the North Atlantic. Sensors. 2019; 19(19):4182. https://doi.org/10.3390/s19194182

Chicago/Turabian Style

Brewin, Robert J.W.; Ciavatta, Stefano; Sathyendranath, Shubha; Skákala, Jozef; Bruggeman, Jorn; Ford, David; Platt, Trevor. 2019. "The Influence of Temperature and Community Structure on Light Absorption by Phytoplankton in the North Atlantic" Sensors 19, no. 19: 4182. https://doi.org/10.3390/s19194182

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