Phytoplankton identification using HPLC and Chem Taxonomy along transects in the Plum Island Sound estuary


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Water column samples are collected along an estuarine salinity gradient as part of our monitoring surveys of the Parker River estuary each spring and late summer (typically high vs low freshwater input). Samples are filtered, and stored frozen for later pigment analyses by HPLC. Pigment data are then analyzed by CHEMTAX, calibrated to a matrix of pigment ratios based on taxonomy and enumeration of selected subsamples by microspcopy. Data are presented in terms of chlorophyll a concentrations partitionaed among the major phytoplankton groups as determined by CHEMTAX.

For 2003-2006, sampling stations along the Plum Island Sound-Parker River were at fixed geographic locations at specific "Bends" in the river. In 2008, we began sampling the water column in salinity space rather than at specific geographic locations along the river. This sampling approach was adopted in order to follow particular water masses in this macrotidal estuary. In practical terms, it means that sampling locations, or stations, are not static. Therefore, we have mapped the 11 sampling locations (latitude and longitude are logged at each station) from each transect along the mainstem of the estuary, so each station may be placed along the river (to the nearest 0.5km) as well as in salinity space.

We have also used the km marker to assign the sampling locations from each survey to one of four bounding boxes :
the Sound (Plum Island Sound; EST-PR-SoundBND) which encompasses approximatly the first 9.5 km or the transect, with Okm at the mouth of the sound;
the Lower Parker River (EST-PR-LowerParkerBND) , ~9.5 - 14.5 km;
the Middle Parker River (EST-PRMiddleParkerBND), ~14.5 - 18.75 km,
and the Upper Parker River (EST-PR-UpperParker BND)., ~18.75 to 24.25 km (the Parker R. Dam).

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Date Range: 

Wednesday, April 16, 2003 to Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Publication Date: 

Monday, January 1, 2007