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The phytoplankton species assemblages of the chlorophyll maximum layer and the surface layer were compared in March 1976 at several stations off southern California. The assemblages in the two layers were quite different in the southern inshore part of the study area but were similar offshore and in Santa Monica Bay to the north. In both layers the assemblages changed more abruptly offshore than alongshore and gave the impression of elongate bands of phytoplankton oriented parallel to shore. Principal component analysis resolved two axes which accounted for the preponderance of the variability of species abundances. Component I consisted of several dinoflagellate and one coccolithophorid species, component II of several diatom species and the pigmented ciliate Mesodinium rubrum.
Limnology and Oceanography