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An Empirical Model of the Phytoplankton Chrlorphyll: Carbon Ratio-the Conversion factor Between Productivity and Growth Rate

James E. Cloern, Christian Grenz and Lisa Vidergar-Lucas
Limnology and Oceanography
Vol. 40, No. 7 (Nov., 1995), pp. 1313-1321
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2838689
Page Count: 9
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An Empirical Model of the Phytoplankton Chrlorphyll: Carbon Ratio-the Conversion factor Between Productivity and Growth Rate
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Abstract

We present an empiricial model that describes the ratio of phytoplankton chlorophyll a to carbon, Chl: C, as a function of temperature, daily irradiance, and nutrient-limited growth rate. Our model is based on 219 published measurements of algal cultures exposed to light-limited or nutrient-limited growth conditions. We illustrate an approach for using this estimator of Chl: C to calculate phytoplankton population growth rate from measured primary productivity. This adaptive Chl:C model gives rise to interactive light-nutrient effects in which growth efficiency increases with nutrient availability under low-light conditions. One implication of this interaction is the enhancement of phytoplankton growth efficiency, in addition to enhancement of biomass yield, as a response to eutrophication.

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