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You are here: Home / Library / No RBINS Staff publications / Influence of Meteorological Variability on Primary Production Dynamics in the Ligurian Sea (NW Med Sea) with a 1D Hydrodynamic/Biological Model.

Geneviève Lacroix and Paul Nival (1998)

Influence of Meteorological Variability on Primary Production Dynamics in the Ligurian Sea (NW Med Sea) with a 1D Hydrodynamic/Biological Model.

Journal of Marine Systems, 16:23-50.

In order to estimate the effects of the meteorological variability on the gross primary production in the Ligurian Sea (NW Mediterranean Sea), a coupling between a hydrodynamic model and a biological one is realized. The one-dimensional version of the GHER hydrodynamic model includes heat and momentum exchanges at the air–sea interface. It is coupled with a simple food-web model from the LEPM. A simulation performed with real meteorological data for the year 1985 reproduces reasonably the seasonal phytoplanktonic dynamics and the distribution between diatoms and flagellates. From this simulation, an annual gross primary production integrated over 200 m of 46.4 g C m−2 year−1 is computed which is representative of an oligotrophic environment. In order to estimate the relative effect on the gross primary production of the meteorological variability on the one hand and of the initial conditions on the other hand, several runs have been performed for the year 1985 with different conditions of light, wind intensity and nitrate initial quantity. The first simulations are performed with daily and monthly mean solar radiation and wind intensity. An averaging of wind intensity yields a decrease in the gross primary production and leads to unrealistic phytoplankton dynamics. It seems then necessary to take into account the 3-hourly variability of the wind intensity in order to simulate the phytoplankton dynamics with relatively good accuracy. On the other hand, an averaging of the solar radiation leads to an increase in the gross primary production. The following simulations are performed with an increase (decrease) in the solar radiation, the wind intensity or the nitrate initial quantity which are representative of the variability observed in a 5-year set of meteorological and hydrobiological data (1984–1988). An increase in the solar radiation is found to reduce the gross primary production, while an increase in the initial nitrate quantity or the wind intensity leads to a higher gross primary production, and the reverse. In the case of variations of the solar radiation (±2%), the simulations give an annual gross primary production integrated over 200 m included between 44.8 and 46.7 g C m−2 year−1, representing a variability of 4%. With the variations of the surface wind intensity (±10%), the runs carry to an annual gross primary production integrated over 200 m from 34.1 to 59.1 g C m−2 year−1, representing a variability of 54%. The variations of the initial nitrate concentration (±50%) lead to an annual gross primary production integrated over 200 m between 20.7 and 69.8 g C m−2 year−1 which represents a variability of 108%. An analysis of the relationship between the total gross primary production and the annual mean depth of the mixed layer has shown that the deeper the mixed layer is, the higher is the total annual gross primary production.
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