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In the Barents Sea, the monitoring of phytoplankton abundance and species composition is carried out on the transects Fugløya–Bjørnøya and Vardø–N and during the regional covering of the area in the autumn. The monitoring programme gives important information for a better understanding of food web processes, effects of human activity, and changes due to climate change. The spring bloom is the peak of the phytoplankton production. The vertical stratification of the water column is a controlling factor of the bloom, because the phytoplankton must be kept in water depths with sufficient light for the bloom to start. The onset can vary considerably between areas. In the coastal waters and at the ice edge, the bloom can start in April, whereas it often starts a month later in the open ocean. In the fjords, the bloom typically starts in March with a peak in April. In 2006, the seasonal distribution of phytoplankton was more or less similar to what has been observed in earlier years. The spring bloom occur red in May–June at the transect Fugløya–Bjørnøya. The coccolithophorid Emiliania huxleyi was observed in the autumn, but did not form a large bloom as in 2005.
SeriesHavets ressurser og miljø