Near bottom phytoplankton and seston: Importance in the pelagic-benthic coupling processes

Sergio Rossi, Josep Maria Gili

Research output: Chapter in BookChapterResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The near bottom water layer of the ocean represents a boundary system between twooceanic biotopes (pelagial and benthal). Seston in general and phytoplankton in particularhave complex features in the epibenthic water layers, due to different components that lyeon the sea floor (interaction with the three dimensional alive structures like suspensionfeeders, seweeds, etc.; a special hydro dynamism; a combination of benthic and pelagicphytoplankton in the competition for nutrients and light; the resuspension and lateraladvection of particles and nutrients near the bottom, among other things). Although it isrecognized as an important part that explains pelagic-benthic coupling processes, thesewater layers have been largely neglected. The activity of benthic organisms can exert aninfluence on seston composition and concentration, but also the sampling frequency anddifferent methodological approaches within different ecosystems has to be carefullyconsidered to understand the dynamics of this boundary system. Differences amonghabitats, the temporary component of phytoplankton (cysts), the seasonal foodavailability (seston and phytoplankton) for benthic suspension feeders depending on thestudied area, how these animals impact on the phytoplankton abundance andcomposition, and which is the return to the system (in form of nutrient excretion) fromthese benthic organisms will be discussed within this chapter. © 2009 by Nova Science Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMarine Phytoplankton
Number of pages41
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011


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