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University of the Basque Country research on plankton at Urdaibai
Date:12/9/2009

rried out and at the interior of the estuary (more or less 7 km from Gernika). The long-term studies were undertaken between May 1998 and May 1999, with a monthly sampling (13 samples in total). The short-term studies, on the other hand, were done between 3 May 2001 and 8 of May of the same year, taking samples every other day (8 samples in total). Thanks to the samples taken in both zones, Ms Sarobe was able to compare the trophic relations that living plankton organisms have in areas that are clearly different in terms of both hydrographic and trophic conditions.

From the results of these samples, the researcher came to certain conclusions. On the one hand, Ms Sarobe observed that the increase in phytoplankton in the annual cycle was related to temperature, light, availability of nutrients and the flow of the river, amongst other factors.

With respect to the bacteria, the study of the annual cycle showed that the large biomasses of bacteria were observed in the summertime; with lesser amounts in winter. Moreover, the researcher concluded that the production of bacteria was limited by the sources of food rather than the temperature. The research on short-term changes indicated that the biomass and bacterial production is greater in the interior of the estuary than in the exterior. According to Ms Sarobe, this could all be due to the flow from the water purification plant located near to the interior channel of the estuary.


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Contact: Irati Kortabitarte
iratik@elhuyar.com
34-943-363-040
Elhuyar Fundazioa
Source:Eurekalert

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