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Biogeosciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 2, issue 1
Biogeosciences, 2, 27-42, 2005
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2-27-2005
© Author(s) 2005. This work is licensed under
the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License.

Special issue: Coastal Biogeochemistry

Biogeosciences, 2, 27-42, 2005
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2-27-2005
© Author(s) 2005. This work is licensed under
the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License.

  18 Feb 2005

18 Feb 2005

Seasonal cycling of phosphorus in the Southern Bight of the North Sea

C. van der Zee and L. Chou C. van der Zee and L. Chou
  • Laboratoire d’Océanographie Chimique et Géochimie des Eaux, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Campus de la Plaine – CP 208, Boulevard du Triomphe, B-1050 Brussels, Belgium

Abstract. We have investigated the seasonal cycle of nutrients, chlorophyll a, dissolved organic nitrogen (DON), and dissolved and particulate organic carbon (DOC and POC) for 10 stations in the Belgian coastal zone. Special attention was given to phosphorus speciation, i.e. dissolved inorganic and organic phosphorus (DIP and DOP) and particulate inorganic and organic phosphorus (PIP and POP).

Spatial and temporal trends of the inorganic nutrients and the organic species are discussed. The Belgian part of the southern North Sea is strongly influenced by the river plumes of the Rhine, Meuse and Scheldt resulting in northeast-southwest salinity gradient. Extrapolation of winter nutrient and DOC concentrations versus salinity plots yielded zero-salinity values typical of the river Scheldt. The polyphosphate concentration did not show any temporal trend, whereas both the phosphate and the DOP concentrations exhibited distinct seasonal variations. Silica or phosphorus was the potential limiting nutrient for phytoplankton growth based on elemental ratios.

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