Zhao, J, Cao, WX, Yang, YZ, Wang, GF, Zhou, W, Sun, ZH (2008). Measuring natural phytoplankton fluorescence and biomass: A case study of algal bloom in the Pearl River estuary. MARINE POLLUTION BULLETIN, 56(10), 1795-1801.
A moored optical buoy was deployed in the Pearl River estuarine waters for a 15-day period. A four-day algal bloom event occurred during this study period. Both chlorophyll a concentration and algal cell density (a proxy for biomass) changed dramatically before and after the event. The chlorophyll concentration at a 2.3 m depth rose from 5.15 Mg/m(-3) at 15:00 h on August 19 to 23.62 Mg/m(-3) at 9:00 h on August 21, and then decreased to 3.24 Mg/m(-3) at 15:00 h on August 24. The corresponding cell density ranged from 1.57 x 10(5) to 1.76 x 10(6) cells/L We used normalized fluorescence line height (NFLH) and normalized fluorescence intensity (NFI) in order to determine fluorescence activity. Combined with the in situ sampling dataset, we were able to correlate natural fluorescence (NFLH and NFI) with chlorophyll a concentrations, and found correlation coefficients of 0.72 and 0.75, respectively. We also found correlations between natural fluorescence and cell density, with correlation coefficients of 0.71 and 0.65, respectively. These results indicate that applying continuous time series of natural fluorescence can reflect changes in biomass. This technique will prove extremely useful for in situ and real-time observations using an optical buoy. Although there are still problems to solve in the real-time observation of natural fluorescence in algal bloom events, we discuss the primary factors affecting fluorescence signals and suggest possible methods for mitigating these issues. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.