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Temporal and spatial changes in the abundance and biomass of pico (heterotrophic bacteria & synechococcus) and nanoplankton (flagellates) of the Mersin Bay – relationships with ambient physical, chemical and biological parameters

Gazihan Akoğlu, Ayşe
The eastern Mediterranean has been known as the most oligotrophic water body among the worlds oceans and as a result of limited nutrient inputs from terrestrial sources primary productivity and plankton succession are restricted by lack of nutrients especially by phosphorus and nitrogen. Within this domain, Mersin bay forms a so called hot spot (highly sensitive) area where a sharp contrast exists between the coastal area supplied by land-based nutrient sources and the nutrient limited open sea. Excess nutrient enrichment lead for eutrophication in the inner Mersin bay while altering the quality and quantity of flora from shore to offshore. Microorganisms are highly sensitive and profoundly affected by environmental disturbances and are widely used to assess the impact of environmental changes on ecosystem functioning. With this study, it is aimed to investigate responses of the smaller fractions of phytoplankton composed of heterotrophic bacteria, Synechococcus and flagellates to rapidly changing ambient biological, chemical and physical properties of shelf waters over an extended period between 2008 and 2010. Epiflourescence microscopy and image analysis setup were used to enumerate and measure size of cells for biomass estimates.