Related Research Areas
Carbon Cycle & Ecosystems

Until the late 90s Noctiluca miliaris, a large dinoflagellate, with a flagellated green-pigmented endosymbiont, Pedinomonas noctilucae was a minor component of phytoplankton populations in the northern Arabian Sea, appearing in bloom form only sporadically during the Southwest monsoon. Since then however, N. miliaris blooms have increased in frequency, intensity and distribution, but with the majority of blooms being observed following the Northeast monsoon. There is particular concern that the spread of N. miliaris blooms may be indicative of eutrophication of the Arabian Sea ecosystem. Such concerns are consistent with recent indications that the Arabian Sea is becoming more productive and that its permanent oxygen minimum zone is intensifying. Here, we propose to carry out a targeted program aimed at developing the capacity to identify and quantify N. miliaris and other phytoplankton functional types using satellite ocean color data. By applying the method to historical ocean color datasets, we will attempt to pinpoint when N. miliaris blooms first began making their appearance. We will integrate fields of phytoplankton functional types with ship-based ecophysiological information to investigate: i) the implications of these blooms on carbon cycling and interpret this with other satellite data to understand: 1) the environmental conditions facilitating large N. miliaris blooms in the Arabian Sea; 2) the oceanographic and meteorological conditions contributing to their enhanced frequency and 3) possible climatic connections. Our proposed research program focuses upon NASA Earth Science Research & Analysis Focus Area: Carbon Cycle and Ecosystems and seeks to answer: How are ocean ecosystems and the biodiversity they support influenced by climate and environmental variability and change, and address: Biogeochemistry Subelement topics: 2.1 Research in Biological Oceanography: 2.1.1 Multisensor observations of oceanographic phenomena & 2.1.2 Impacts of a Changing Climate on Biological Oceanography 2.3 Providing the scientific basis for next generation ocean biology remote sensing technologies

Project PI: Joaquim Goes/Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences



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Started: Aug 10, 2010

Last Activity: Dec 16, 2010


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