Browsing by Subject "akvaattiset tieteet / Limnologia"

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  • Seppälä, Jukka (Helsingin yliopisto, 2009)
    To obtain data on phytoplankton dynamics with improved spatial and temporal resolution, and at reduced cost, traditional phytoplankton monitoring methods have been supplemented with optical approaches. In this thesis, I have explored various fluorescence-based techniques for detection of phytoplankton abundance, taxonomy and physiology in the Baltic Sea. In algal cultures used in this thesis, the availability of nitrogen and light conditions caused changes in pigmentation, and consequently in light absorption and fluorescence properties of cells. In the Baltic Sea, physical environmental factors (e.g. mixing depth, irradiance and temperature) and related seasonal succession in the phytoplankton community explained a large part of the seasonal variability in the magnitude and shape of Chlorophyll a (Chla)-specific absorption. The variability in Chla-specific fluorescence was related to the abundance of cyanobacteria, the size structure of the phytoplankton community, and absorption characteristics of phytoplankton. Cyanobacteria show very low Chla-specific fluorescence. In the presence of eukaryotic species, Chla fluorescence describes poorly cyanobacteria. During cyanobacterial bloom in the Baltic Sea, phycocyanin fluorescence explained large part of the variability in Chla concentrations. Thus, both Chla and phycocyanin fluorescence were required to predict Chla concentration. Phycobilins are major light harvesting pigments for cyanobacteria. In the open Baltic Sea, small picoplanktonic cyanobacteria were the main source of phycoerythrin fluorescence and absorption signal. Large filamentous cyanobacteria, forming harmful blooms, were the main source of the phycocyanin fluorescence signal and typically their biomass and phycocyanin fluorescence were linearly related. Using phycocyanin fluorescence, dynamics of cyanobacterial blooms can be detected at high spatial and seasonal resolution not possible with other methods. Various taxonomic phytoplankton pigment groups can be separated by spectral fluorescence. I compared multivariate calibration methods for the retrieval of phytoplankton biomass in different taxonomic groups. Partial least squares regression method gave the closest predictions for all taxonomic groups, and the accuracy was adequate for phytoplankton bloom detection. Variable fluorescence has been proposed as a tool to study the physiological state of phytoplankton. My results from the Baltic Sea emphasize that variable fluorescence alone cannot be used to detect nutrient limitation of phytoplankton. However, when combined with experiments with active nutrient manipulation, and other nutrient limitation indices, variable fluorescence provided valuable information on the physiological responses of the phytoplankton community. This thesis found a severe limitation of a commercial fast repetition rate fluorometer, which couldn t detect the variable fluorescence of phycoerythrin-lacking cyanobacteria. For these species, the Photosystem II absorption of blue light is very low, and fluorometer excitation light did not saturate Photosystem II during a measurement. This thesis encourages the use of various in vivo fluorescence methods for the detection of bulk phytoplankton biomass, biomass of cyanobacteria, chemotaxonomy of phytoplankton community, and phytoplankton physiology. Fluorescence methods can support traditional phytoplankton monitoring by providing continuous measurements of phytoplankton, and thereby strengthen the understanding of the links between biological, chemical and physical processes in aquatic ecosystems.