University Of Tasmania

File(s) under permanent embargo

Assessing Sub-Antarctic Zone primary productivity from fast repetition rate fluorometry

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-17, 10:14 authored by Cheah, W, Andrew McMinnAndrew McMinn, Griffiths, FB, Karen WestwoodKaren Westwood, Simon WrightSimon Wright, Molina, E, Webb, JP, van den Enden, R
In situ primary productivity(PP)in the Sub-Antarctic Zone(SAZ)and the Polar Frontal Zone (PFZ)south of Australia was estimated using fast repetition rate fluorometry(FRRF).FRRF-derived PP at Process station 3(P3)southeast of Tasmania(461S, 1531E) were higher than P1inthe southwest of Tasmania (461S, 1401E) and P2 in the Polar Frontal Zone (541S, 1461E). The FRRF-derived PP rates were well correlated with 14C-uptake rates fromone-hour incubations(r2¼0.85,slope¼1.2370.05, po0.01, n¼85) but the relationship between both methods differed vertically and spatially. There was a linear relationship between FRRF-based PP and 14C-based PP underlight-limited conditions in deeper waters. Under light-saturated conditions near the surface(0–45m),the relationship was less clear. This was likely associated with the effects of physiological processes such as cyclic electron flow and the Mehler reaction, which are stimulated at high irradiance. Our results indicate that FRRF can be used to estimate photosynthesis rates in the SAZ and PFZ but to derive an accurate estimation of C-fixation requires a detailed understanding of the physiological properties of the cells and their response to oceanographic parameters under different environmental conditions.


Department of Environment and Energy (Cwth)


Publication title

Deep-Sea Research. Part 2: Topical Studies in Oceanography










Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies


Pergamon-Elsevier Science Ltd

Place of publication

The Boulevard, Langford Lane, Kidlington, Oxford, England, Ox5 1Gb

Rights statement

The definitive version is available at

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Biodiversity in Antarctic and Southern Ocean environments

Usage metrics

    University Of Tasmania