Table of Contents
International Journal of Oceanography
Volume 2009, Article ID 232513, 19 pages
Research Article

Chlorophylls and Phycoerythrins as Markers of Environmental Forcings Including Cyclone Erica Effect (March 2003) on Phytoplankton in the Southwest Lagoon of New Caledonia and Oceanic Adjacent Area

1Laboratoire ARAGO, Université Pierre et Marie Curie-Paris 6, Avenue Fontaulé, BP44, 66650 Banyuls-sur-Mer, France
2Laboratoire d’Océanographie Biologique de Banyuls, CNRS, UMR7621, Avenue Fontaulé, BP44, 66650 Banyuls-sur-Mer, France
3Departamento de Biologia Marinha, Instituto de Biologia, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Cidade Universitária-CCS-Bloco A-sala A63, Ilha do Governador, Rio de Janeiro 21941-590 RJ, Brazil
4Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, UR Camélia (UR 103), BP A5, 98848 Nouméa Cedex, New Caledonia, France
5Centre Technique Littoral, Lyonnaise des Eaux, Technopôle Izarbel, 64210 Bidart, France
6ECOLAG/UMR 5119, Université Montpellier II, CC 093, 34095 Montpellier Cedex 05, France
7Université de Toulouse, IRD, LEGOS, 14 avenue Edouard Belin, 31400 Toulouse, France

Received 6 February 2009; Accepted 3 September 2009

Academic Editor: Robert Frouin

Copyright © 2009 J. Neveux et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Spatio-temporal variations of chlorophylls and phycoerythrins, inferred by spectrofluorometric methods, were studied from April 2002 to June 2003 in the southwest lagoon and oceanic waters of New Caledonia. Trade winds blew 75% of the time and appeared as the main factor influencing surface Tchl (sum of monovinyl- and divinyl-chlorophyll ) variations in the ocean, near the barrier reef. Lagoon and oceanic waters differed in the composition of picoplanktonic cyanobacteria with a relative dominance of Prochlorococcus and high-phycourobilin Synechococcus in the ocean, and a relative dominance of high-phycoerythrobilin Synechococcus in the lagoon. Main pigment variations in the lagoon were associated with cyclone Erica in March 2003 and showed a 5-6 fold Tchl increase around Nouméa. The cyclone stimulated mainly diatom growth as indicated by the high chlorophyll ()/chlorophyll ratio and by the lowest values for the other pigment ratios. The relative importance of divinyl-chlorophyll concentration and fluorescence excitation spectra of phycoerythrins appeared as useful tools for characterizing lagoon-ocean exchanges.