Variability in the chlorophyll-specific absorption coefficients of natural phytoplankton: Analysis and parameterization

  • Bricaud A
  • Babin M
  • Morel A
 et al. 
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Abstract

Variability in the chlorophyll (chl) a-specific absorption coefficients of living phytoplankton a • h(A) was analyzed using a data set including 815 spectra determined with the wet filter technique in different regions of the world ocean (covering the chlorophyll concentration range 0.02-25 mg m-3). The a* ph values were observed to decrease rather regularly from oligotrophic to eutrophic waters, spanning over more than 1 order of magnitude (0.18 to 0.01 m 2 mg -1) at the blue absorption maximum. The observed covariation between a • h(A) and the field chl a concentration (chl} can be explained considering (1) the level of pigment packaging and (2) the contribution of accessory pigments to absorption. Empirical relationships between a • h(A) and were derived by least squares fitting to power functions. These relationships can be used to produce a ph spectra as a function of (chl}. Such a simple parameterization, if confirmed with further data, can be used, e.g., for refining estimates of the carbon fixation rate at global or regional scales, such as those obtained by combining satellite pigment concentration maps with primary production models based on physiological parameters among which a* , ph is an important one. 1. Introduction In oceanic waters, optical properties of phytoplankton, and specifically their in vivo absorption coefficients, play a key role in determining both the penetration of the radiant energy within seawater and the use of this radiant energy for photosynthesis. Spectral light absorption and backscattering are the two inherent optical properties directly ruling the diffuse reflectance R of the ocean, and thus ocean color, through a relationship of the form: R(A) = Fbb(A)/a(A)

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Authors

  • Annick Bricaud

  • Marcel Babin

  • André Morel

  • Hervé Claustre

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