Phytoplankton Bloom in the Arabian Sea
October 8, 2004
If you followed the marine food chain to its last link, you would find phytoplankton. The microscopic marine plants that form the basis of ocean life depend on many variable factors to sustain their own existence. Like land-based plants, phytoplankton need sunlight and nutrients like iron, nitrate, and phosphate. The amount of phytoplankton that can grow in any section of ocean depends on the availability of these factors. In the Arabian Sea, phytoplankton thrives in a narrow window of time defined by seasonal monsoons. During the summer monsoon, strong winds blow from the southwest across the Arabian Sea. These winds stir ocean currents, allowing cold, nutrient-rich water to rush up from the bottom. The winds also carry minerals from the land onto the surface of the ocean. The added nutrients from both sources feed the tiny ocean plants.
Topics: Environment, Arabian Sea, Planktology, Biological oceanography, Aquatic ecology, HNLC, Iron fertilization, Phytoplankton, Monsoon, Plankton