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1999 Projects

Current Projects

Green_Ball.gif (257 bytes) Benthic processes
Green_Ball.gif (257 bytes) Midwater research
Green_Ball.gif (257 bytes) Upper ocean biogeochemistry
Green_Ball.gif (257 bytes) New research platforms
Green_Ball.gif (257 bytes) ROV improvements
Green_Ball.gif (257 bytes) Mooring improvements
Green_Ball.gif (257 bytes) New in-situ Instruments
Green_Ball.gif (257 bytes) Information management and archiving
Green_Ball.gif (257 bytes) Education and outreach
Green_Ball.gif (257 bytes) 1998 Projects
Green_Ball.gif (257 bytes) 1997 Projects


1999 Projects: Upper ocean biogeochemistry

MBARI’s research on upper ocean productivity and its relationship to climate has for many years centered around state-of-the-art moorings that sample upper ocean conditions continuously over time. These time series are supplemented with periodic ship transects that provide dense spatial sampling between the moorings and by satellite observations that offer synoptic views of ocean productivity. For 1999 MBARI will continue to operate three moorings at sites spanning from the nearshore to the outer region of the bay. The primary focus will be on documenting the recovery to normal conditions in the wake of the intense 1997-1998 El Niņo. Coupled studies of nutrient cycling, primary productivity, and variations in inorganic carbon in the upwelling system of Monterey Bay will better quantify the feedbacks between climate, ocean currents, and their biological responses.

Spatial and temporal variations in nutrient uptake and carbon fixation in the upper ocean can be very species-specific. Understanding which species are dominant is important for building numerical models that accurately integrate the oceanic and atmospheric physics with marine biogeochemistry. Until recently, only the most primitive means were available (e.g., counting species under the microscope from water samples) to quantify species-specific biological responses to changing climate and oceanographic conditions. For several years now, MBARI has been developing molecular probes to automate this task. In 1999 we will expand the number of target species detectable by probes; explore physiological factors that potentially influence reactivity to probes; and automate data collection, retrieval, and archiving activities. In addition, we will expand the application of molecular probes to single-celled picoplankton. Despite their suspected importance to the primary productivity budget, these microorganisms have been notoriously difficult to identify and quantify on account of their small size.

During 1999 seven projects will be dedicated to research on upper ocean biogeochemistry:

rd_diam.gif (232 bytes) DNA probes for detection of phytoplankton species
rd_diam.gif (232 bytes) Molecular monitoring of picoplankton
rd_diam.gif (232 bytes) Physics and biology of ocean fronts in Monterey Bay
rd_diam.gif (232 bytes) Biogeochemical responses to changes in climate and ocean circulation
rd_diam.gif (232 bytes) Generation of satellite products
rd_diam.gif (232 bytes) Temporal variability of nutrients in the upper ocean
rd_diam.gif (232 bytes) Inorganic carbon in coastal upwelling systems

Last updated: 10 November 2003