Plum Island LTER phytoplankton identification using HPLC and Chem Taxonomy along transects in the Plum Island Sound estuary, Massachusetts


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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 created four bounding boxes to encompass three regions of the river plus the sound, and 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 located within one of these bounding boxes as well as in salinity space. When needed, station coordinates have also been used to map the specific location of a station from a specific transect.

Bounding boxes :
Sound (Plum Island Sound; EST-PR-SoundBND) 0 to ~9.5 km, proceeding upstream from the mouth of the sound;
Lower Parker River (EST-PR-LowerParkerBND) , ~9.5 - 14.5 km;
Middle Parker River (EST-PRMiddleParkerBND), ~14.5 - 18.75 km,
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 Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Publication Date: 

Monday, January 1, 2007