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Seminar: Unraveling the role of nano and picophytoplankton in the Arabian Gulf using flow cytometry

23-Jan-2020 to 23-Jan-2020

Date        : Thursday, Jan 23, 2020

Time       : 2:00 – 2:30 PM

Location  : Building 15, 4th floor Auditorium 


Dr. Moritz Heinle 

Research Scientist-III, CEW, KFUPM-RI.


Phytoplankton are the main driver of oceanic primary production and account for nearly 50% of the annual global net primary production, fueling marine food webs. Based on cell size, they are divided into three major groups: netphytoplankton (> 20 μm), nanophytoplankton (2 – 20 μm) and picophytoplankton (< 2 μm). Nano and picophytoplankton can play a particularly important role in marine primary production in warm and nutrient-poor waters, such as the Arabian Gulf, but they are difficult to study due to their small size.

This presentation shows data from summer 2018 to winter 2019, collected from 33 stations throughout Saudi waters of the Arabian Gulf. Picophytoplankton accounted for a maximum of 80% of the total phytoplankton biomass in few stations and nanophytoplankton for a maximum of 40% in few other stations. The picocyanobacterium (Synechococcus)  was by far the most important component of the small phytoplankton community. Highest contribution of small phytoplankton to the total phytoplankton commu

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