Date of Award

Fall 1988

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Biological Sciences



Committee Director

Harold G. Marshall

Committee Member

William Dunstan

Committee Member

Kneeland Nesius

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.B46 W324


A study of phytoplankton vertical distribution at six stations along the northeast continental shelf of the United States was conducted in April 1984.

A total of 168 taxa were identified from nine phylogenetic groups collected at depths up to 150 m. Highest cell concentrations and cell volumes were in the upper 30 m. Greatest cell concentrations were produced by diatoms and a pico-nanoplankton component, with cell volumes mainly the product of diatoms and dinoflagellates. A high degree of variability was observed between phylogenetic groups within each station, but less variability was noted for phylogenetic categories at different stations.

Little difference was noted in abundance in the upper 30 m, or among the lower depths sampled. However, there was significant difference between the phytoplankton of the upper and lower depths. There was also a high degree of dissimilarity in phytoplankton populations between the surface samples from all the stations, but increasing similarity in comparing the flora from the lower depths.

A high degree of variability was noted for taxa within and between stations. A significant difference was noted between the upper and lower depths, with the exception of the diatoms, which had a variable pattern of distribution in the collections.


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