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Kahru, M, Elmgren R, Di Lorenzo E, Savchuk O.  2018.  Unexplained interannual oscillations of cyanobacterial blooms in the Baltic Sea. Scientific Reports. 8   10.1038/s41598-018-24829-7   AbstractWebsite

Population oscillations in multi-species or even single species systems are well-known but have rarely been detected at the lower trophic levels in marine systems. Nitrogen fixing cyanobacteria are a major component of the Baltic Sea ecosystem and sometimes form huge surface accumulations covering most of the sea surface. By analysing a satellite-derived 39-year (1979-2017) data archive of surface cyanobacteria concentrations we have found evidence of strikingly regular interannual oscillations in cyanobacteria concentrations in the northern Baltic Sea. These oscillations have a period of similar to 3 years with a high-concentration year generally followed by one or two low-concentration years. Changes in abiotic factors known to influence the growth and survival of cyanobacteria could not provide an explanation for the oscillations. We therefore assume that these oscillations are intrinsic to the marine system, caused by an unknown, probably mainly biological mechanism that may be triggered by a combination of environmental factors. Interactions between different life cycle stages of cyanobacteria as well as between predator-prey or host-parasite are possible candidates for causing the oscillations.

Stukel, MR, Kahru M, Benitez-Nelson CR, Decima M, Goericke R, Landry MR, Ohman MD.  2015.  Using Lagrangian-based process studies to test satellite algorithms of vertical carbon flux in the eastern North Pacific Ocean. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 120:7208-7222.   10.1002/2015jc011264   AbstractWebsite

The biological carbon pump is responsible for the transport of similar to 5-20 Pg C yr(-1) from the surface into the deep ocean but its variability is poorly understood due to an incomplete mechanistic understanding of the complex underlying planktonic processes. In fact, algorithms designed to estimate carbon export from satellite products incorporate fundamentally different assumptions about the relationships between plankton biomass, productivity, and export efficiency. To test the alternate formulations of export efficiency in remote-sensing algorithms formulated by Dunne et al. (2005), Laws et al. (2011), Henson et al. (2011), and Siegel et al. (2014), we have compiled in situ measurements (temperature, chlorophyll, primary production, phytoplankton biomass and size structure, grazing rates, net chlorophyll change, and carbon export) made during Lagrangian process studies on seven cruises in the California Current Ecosystem and Costa Rica Dome. A food-web based approach formulated by Siegel et al. (2014) performs as well or better than other empirical formulations, while simultaneously providing reasonable estimates of protozoan and mesozooplankton grazing rates. By tuning the Siegel et al. (2014) algorithm to match in situ grazing rates more accurately, we also obtain better in situ carbon export measurements. Adequate representations of food-web relationships and grazing dynamics are therefore crucial to improving the accuracy of export predictions made from satellite-derived products. Nevertheless, considerable unexplained variance in export remains and must be explored before we can reliably use remote sensing products to assess the impact of climate change on biologically mediated carbon sequestration.

Kahru, M.  1997.  Using satellites to monitor large-scale environmental change: A case study of cyanobacteria blooms in the Baltic Sea. Monitoring algal blooms : new techniques for detecting large-scale environmental change. ( Kahru M, Brown CW, Eds.).:43-61., Berlin ; New York: Springer Abstract