Nitrate uptake rates in a coastal upwelling regime: a comparison of PN-specific, absolute, and Chl a-specific rates Public Deposited

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  • PN-specific, absolute, and Chl a-specific nitrate uptake rates were measured during two upwelling seasons and one winter off Oregon. Although PN-specific and absolute uptake rates showed no dependence on nitrate concentration, Michaelis-Menten kinetics applied when the uptake rates were normalized to Chl a. Chl a-specific nitrate uptake rates were saturated when nitrate concentrations were > 5 μM. Uptake rates decreased in response to either low nitrate concentrations or when extremely high phytoplankton biomass caused shading. PN- and Chl a-specific uptake rates were similar when Chl a concentrations were ≥4 μg/liter and phytoplankton N comprised most of the PN (particulate organic N) pool. When Chl a was >4 μg/liter, however, phytoplankton N accounted for only 20-30% of the PN, and estimated phytoplankton-specific uptake was 5-fold greater than PN-specific uptake rates. These results suggest that observed temporal changes in PN-specific nitrate uptake rates reflect variations in phytoplankton biomass rather than changes in phytoplankton-specific activity.
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  • Dickson, M., & Wheeler, P. A. (1995). Nitrate uptake rates in a coastal upwelling regime: a comparison of PN-specific, absolute, and Chl a-specific rates. Limnology and Oceanography, 40(3), 543-553.
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