Event Title

Microplankton dynamics in Central Puget Sound: Inter-annual variation in response to shifting environmental drivers.

Streaming Media

Presentation Abstract

Puget Sound is a large, highly productive estuarine system at the southern end of the Salish Sea. King County’s (Seattle, Washington) long-term monitoring program assesses water quality in the Puget Sound Central Basin. Since 1995, samples are collected year-round for a suite of physical/chemical parameters as well as chlorophyll-a. A phytoplankton/microplankton monitoring component was later added to address a significant data gap for the lower trophic levels. Since 2014, twice-monthly samples from eight Central Basin locations are analyzed year-round by FlowCAM, an imaging particle analyzer operating in the 10–300 µm particle range. About 60 taxonomic categories are characterized using relevant descriptors of assemblage composition, such as particle size, abundance, and biovolume. This increased level of detailed quantitative data is critical to assess how changes related to climate and other stressors linked to anthropogenic activity may impact Puget Sound’s trophic structure. Understanding the conditions underlying inter-annual variations in microplankton dynamics may provide important clues for predicting the impacts of climate change. Our analysis has thus focused on inter-annual variations in key environmental parameters (temperature, salinity gradients, nutrients) and weather/climate patterns in order to interpret inter-annual differences in growth, seasonality patterns and species composition. Since 2014 we have seen considerable year to year differences in the timing and duration of spring/summer blooms, the length of the growing season and the total annual biomass. The intrusion of warm water into Puget Sound from the Pacific Blob in 2014-2015, as well as large variations in weather patterns from 2014 to 2019, have provided an opportunity to examine the effects of elevated temperatures and other critical environmental drivers on the dynamics of microplankton populations in the Puget Sound Central Basin.

Session Title

Trophic energy flow in the Salish Sea: Part I (Phytoplankton/Zooplankton)

Conference Track

Trophic Interactions - Zooplankton, Phytoplankton, Salmon, Forage Fish & Invasive Species

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (2020 : Online)

Document Type

Event

SSEC Identifier

2020_abstractID_4901

Start Date

21-4-2020 9:00 AM

End Date

22-4-2020 4:45 PM

Geographic Coverage

Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.)

Rights

Copying of this document in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this document for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author's written permission.

Language

English

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Apr 21st, 9:00 AM Apr 22nd, 4:45 PM

Microplankton dynamics in Central Puget Sound: Inter-annual variation in response to shifting environmental drivers.

Puget Sound is a large, highly productive estuarine system at the southern end of the Salish Sea. King County’s (Seattle, Washington) long-term monitoring program assesses water quality in the Puget Sound Central Basin. Since 1995, samples are collected year-round for a suite of physical/chemical parameters as well as chlorophyll-a. A phytoplankton/microplankton monitoring component was later added to address a significant data gap for the lower trophic levels. Since 2014, twice-monthly samples from eight Central Basin locations are analyzed year-round by FlowCAM, an imaging particle analyzer operating in the 10–300 µm particle range. About 60 taxonomic categories are characterized using relevant descriptors of assemblage composition, such as particle size, abundance, and biovolume. This increased level of detailed quantitative data is critical to assess how changes related to climate and other stressors linked to anthropogenic activity may impact Puget Sound’s trophic structure. Understanding the conditions underlying inter-annual variations in microplankton dynamics may provide important clues for predicting the impacts of climate change. Our analysis has thus focused on inter-annual variations in key environmental parameters (temperature, salinity gradients, nutrients) and weather/climate patterns in order to interpret inter-annual differences in growth, seasonality patterns and species composition. Since 2014 we have seen considerable year to year differences in the timing and duration of spring/summer blooms, the length of the growing season and the total annual biomass. The intrusion of warm water into Puget Sound from the Pacific Blob in 2014-2015, as well as large variations in weather patterns from 2014 to 2019, have provided an opportunity to examine the effects of elevated temperatures and other critical environmental drivers on the dynamics of microplankton populations in the Puget Sound Central Basin.