A turbulent diffusion model shows that there are two different mechanisms for the development of phytoplankton blooms. One of these mechanisms works in well-mixed environments and corresponds to the classical critical depth theory. The other mechanism is based on the rate of turbulent mixing. If turbulent mixing is less than a critical turbulence, phytoplankton growth rates exceed the vertical mixing rates, and a bloom develops irrespective of the depth of the upper water layer. These results demonstrate that phytoplankton blooms can develop in the absence of vertical water-column stratification. [KEYWORDS: LIGHT-LIMITED GROWTH, WATER COLUMN, SPRING BLOOM, DYNAMICS, MODEL, COMPETITION, OCEAN, LAKE, STRATIFICATION, CONSEQUENCES]
Original languageEnglish
JournalLimnology and Oceanography
Journal publication date1999

ID: 219445