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Global Retrieval of Diatom Abundance Based on Phytoplankton Pigments and Satellite Data

Alfred-Wegener-Institute Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research, Am Handelshafen 12, D-27570 Bremerhaven, Germany
Faculty of Environmental Earth Science, Hokkaido University, N10W5, Kita-Ku, Sapporo 060-0810, Japan
CREST, Japan Science and Technology Agency, N10W5, Kita-Ku, Sapporo 060-0810, Japan
Laboratory for Climatology and Remote Sensing, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Deutschhausstr. 12, D-35037 Marburg, Germany
Institute of Environmental Physics, University of Bremen, Otto-Hahn-Allee 1, D-28359 Bremen, Germany
MARUM-Center for Marine Environmental Sciences, Leobener Str., D-28359 Bremen, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2014, 6(10), 10089-10106;
Received: 12 June 2014 / Revised: 28 September 2014 / Accepted: 12 October 2014 / Published: 22 October 2014
PDF [3336 KB, uploaded 22 October 2014]


Diatoms are the major marine primary producers on the global scale and, recently, several methods have been developed to retrieve their abundance or dominance from satellite remote sensing data. In this work, we highlight the importance of the Southern Ocean (SO) in developing a global algorithm for diatom using an Abundance Based Approach (ABA). A large global in situ data set of phytoplankton pigments was compiled, particularly with more samples collected in the SO. We revised the ABA to take account of the information on the penetration depth (Zpd) and to improve the relationship between diatoms and total chlorophyll-a (TChla). The results showed that there is a distinct relationship between diatoms and TChla in the SO, and a new global model (ABAZpd) improved the estimation of diatoms abundance by 28% in the SO compared with the original ABA model. In addition, we developed a regional model for the SO which further improved the retrieval of diatoms by 17% compared with the global ABAZpd model. As a result, we found that diatom may be more abundant in the SO than previously thought. Linear trend analysis of diatom abundance using the regional model for the SO showed that there are statistically significant trends, both increasing and decreasing, in diatom abundance over the past eleven years in the region. View Full-Text
Keywords: ocean colour; phytoplankton functional types; diatom; remote sensing; chlorophyll-a ocean colour; phytoplankton functional types; diatom; remote sensing; chlorophyll-a

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Soppa, M.A.; Hirata, T.; Silva, B.; Dinter, T.; Peeken, I.; Wiegmann, S.; Bracher, A. Global Retrieval of Diatom Abundance Based on Phytoplankton Pigments and Satellite Data. Remote Sens. 2014, 6, 10089-10106.

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